A baseball player’s worst nightmare occurred on the field when Justin Turner was hit in the face by a pitch during a Spring Training contest between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.
Turner, who is often known for his amazing reactions and ability to hit pitches that other players wouldn’t even swing at, could not avoid the errant fastball that Matt Manning threw in the first inning. Tom Caron shared a video of the pitch on Twitter:
— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) March 6, 2023
The hit jarred fans and players alike, as the game paused for a few minutes while Turner’s teammates gathered themselves and readied to resume play. The Boston Red Sox released a statement about Turner’s condition that night:
“Justin Turner was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation after being hit in the face by a pitch. He’s receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries, and is being monitored for a concussion. He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert, and in good spirits given the circumstances.”
While Tuner is likely to be staying off social media following a hit to the head, his wife did offer fans a brief update via the player’s Instagram story, as shared by CNN. In it, Kourtney Turner assured fans that Justin is awake and stable following the terrifying pitch:
“Thank you to everyone that reached out about Justin and sent prayers. We’re home now and he’s resting (okay – maybe listening to the replay of the game). 16 stitches and a lot of swelling but we are thanking God for no fractures and clear scans!”
For his part, Matt Manning of the Detroit Tigers immediately showed concern after his fastball injured Turner. In a press conference after the game, the young starting pitcher assured fans that this was an accident rather than a grudge being handled in the wrong way, saying:
“It was a complete accident; ball just got away. I got a swing and miss on a ball kind of up in the zone, so I tried to go back to it, and it just got away from me.”
Turner is slated to play an essential role for the Red Sox after signing a one-year deal with the team during the offseason. He will be asked to carry a heavy offensive load for a team that underperformed during 2022 and is looking to rebound. CBS Sports describes Turner’s career so far by writing the following:
“Turner, 38, hit .296/.375/.490 (133 OPS+) in his nine seasons with the Dodgers as one of the faces of a team routinely making the playoffs and going on deep playoff runs. He made two All-Star teams and finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting twice as well. “
Though Turner made his name playing primarily third base for the Dodgers, he will likely be asked to move to first this season, given the massive contract extension that Boston handed to young phenom Rafael Devers. If Turner can return to form following this injury, he will be a significant piece of the Red Sox game plan.
Featured Image: Screenshot from Embedded Tweet
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