When you go through spring training, you don't expect to have to see players go down due to injury. Nonetheless, it does happen, and when it's a line drive right back to the pitcher, it's always a very concerning moment since you worry if the pitcher's going to be alright.
Such a situation happened today in an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Roy Oswalt was facing Manny Ramirez in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ramirez hit the ball right back to Oswalt, and he went down.
While the video looked like he was hit in the upper back, the slowed down replay showed he was instead hit behind the ear, on the neck. He was able to get up on his own power, and didn't look to have any serious aftereffects from the shot.
He was taken to a hospital, and X-rays done were negative. Oswalt also noted that he did not suffer from any dizziness or concussion symptoms, though he did end up with a neck bruise.
The big story here is, of course, that a crisis was averted. Shots like that can go badly so easily, and he could have ended up with a concussion or even a broken neck had it hit slightly over.
There are probably some people out there that want to blame Manny Ramirez for the shot, but that would just be foolish. One can't magically dictate exactly where a ball is going to go when they hit it, so I would hope no one really believe that was meant to happen.
It's too early to tell if Oswalt will miss any time as a result of this, though I would imagine his preseason is over just to be on the safe side. After all, we know he's going to be one of the stars in the rotation, so he might as well look forward to that.
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