More than a few eyebrows were raised when Boston Red Sox outfield prospect Bryce Brentz wasn’t one of the 19 non-roster players invited to this year’s spring training. As it turns out, his exclusion was for good reason, as he recently suffered a gun-related injury.
WEEI’s Alex Speier first reported that, earlier this offseason, Brentz suffered an injury to his leg when cleaning a gun at his home.
Boston general manager Ben Cherington clarified to Speier exactly what happened:
He was cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off. The bullet went into his leg and out the other side. I guess you could say he got lucky relative to what happened.
Fortunately for him it’s something he’s going to recover from and be fine and won’t affect his baseball career.
The Providence Journal'sTim Britton reported that Brentz had a bullet pass completely through one of his legs. He was fortunate to not strike any bone or muscles that would have required much longer recovery time.
Brentz was clearly embarrassed when speaking about the incident:
Everything is fine. After the rookie program [in early January], I had an accident. Everything is fine, but I was cleaning my gun and it accidentally discharged on me and I sustained an injury. Nothing serious… I am recovering fast and should be OK for the season.
Following last season, Baseball America’s Jim Callis ranked the 24-year-old right-hander as Boston’s eighth-best prospect after a 2012 season that saw him hit a combined .290 with 17 home runs and 76 RBI between Double-A and Triple-A.
A 2010 first-round draft pick, Brentz has shown a lot of power during his professional career, but is not known for his defense. He was not expected to make the Red Sox out of camp, but is on the short list of players who might get a call-up during the season if the team needs any extra outfielders.
While the Red Sox don’t have any specific policies regarding their players owning guns, Cherington told Britton that “We've had a couple conversations with [Brentz] about how serious this is. He wasn't doing anything illegal; it was an accident.”
Fortunately, Brentz wasn’t seriously hurt in this accident. However, it remains to be seen when he will next be able to play and if he can make the final push to break through to the major leagues.
Statistics via Baseball-Reference.com