Rangers Instructor Howard Johnson Hit in Face with Foul Ball, Stretchered Off

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: A Texas Rangers batting helmet in the dugout before a game against  the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 24, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Rangers defeated the Yankees 8-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Howard Johnson, who works as a minor league hitting instructor for the Texas Rangers, was taken off the field on a stretcher after being hit in the face by a foul ball during Saturday's spring training game against the Cleveland Indians.

Per MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, Johnson was sitting in the Rangers dugout when Indians infielder Erik Gonzalez hit a liner that caught him on the left side of his face.

MLB.com's Jordan Bastian added Johnson had a towel covering his face as he was being helped onto a cart. 

"It was ugly," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said, via Sullivan. "He was awake and responded to all the medical answers; that's a good sign. I don't think he was able to walk but hopefully nothing serious. He is part of the team, part of the family. When that happens, you are always going to get concerned. It was kind of scary."

Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers didn't have an official update on Johnson's condition after the game ended. 

The 57-year-old Johnson played 14 MLB seasons with four different teams from 1982 to 1995. He finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting three times with the New York Mets and made the NL All-Star team in 1989 and 1991. 

Johnson has been in the Rangers organization for two seasons, serving as a manager for their High-A affiliate in 2017 and as their Triple-A hitting instructor in 2018.