A frightening development occurred at the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers game when an errant fastball hit Justin Turner in the face.
There was no intent on the part of Tigers starter Matt Manning when he threw his fastball on his ninth pitch of the afternoon. But Turner didn’t have time to get out of the way as he came up and punched him in the face.
Turner went down and the coaches ran to the batter’s box to meet him. The broadcast caught a close-up of Turner, who was bleeding heavily.
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The Red Sox issued a statement updating Turner’s status.
«Justin Turner was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation after being struck in the face by a pitch,» the Red Sox said in a statement. «He is receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries and is being monitored for a concussion. He will undergo further tests and we will update him as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert and in good spirits under the circumstances.»
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As the Red Sox mentioned, the circumstances didn’t look very good, but Turner could have prevented something serious.
While some time will certainly be lost, there is no timetable for Turner’s return to the Red Sox.
Boston signed Turner this offseason to primarily be their designated hitter in his 15th MLB season. The 38-year-old completed his ninth season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, slashing .278/.350/.438 with a .788 OPS, 13 home runs and 81 RBIs in 128 games.
The Red Sox, like other teams that wanted the veteran slugger this offseason, like his ability to get on base and hit situationally. He also has a leading clubhouse presence, which has been coveted by the Dodgers since he joined them in 2014.
Turner has been in MLB since 2009, when he made his debut with the Baltimore Orioles. He went on to make a name for himself with the New York Mets in his four seasons with the club. However, Turner’s plate skills blossomed when he arrived on the West Coast.
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For his career, Turner is hitting .289/.366/.466 with 164 home runs and 663 RBIs.
The Red Sox went undefeated in spring training with a 7-1 win over the Tigers. Ramiel Tapia, another offseason signing for Boston, hit his first home run for the Red Sox this spring.
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Chris Sale also made his spring debut, allowing just two hits and striking out two in two innings of work.