BOSTON – Lowell Spinners pitcher Brian Johnson, the 31st overall pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2012 MLB draft, suffered multiple orbital bone fractures in the left side of his face after being struck by a line drive during the first part of the Futures at Fenway doubleheader on Saturday.
“He’s seeing the surgeon right now so we have no idea what the results are but it’s not a pretty sight,” manager Bruce Crabbe said after the 6-5 loss to Hudson Valley. “There was no blood or anything, and he wasn’t unconscious. So that’s a good sign. But we’ll just have to wait and see what the doctors say.”
In the game’s first at-bat, Joey Rickard lined a fastball straight back at Johnson, striking him just below the left eye. Johnson immediately fell to the ground clutching his face and was taken off on a stretcher after being down for about five minutes. He was able to wave his hand to the crowd upon leaving.
“It was pretty scary,” said teammate and fellow 2012 first-rounder Pat Light. “It’s tough because I wanted to see him out there. He was hit on the knee in his first start with us, so he’s had some tough luck.”
A Red Sox spokesperson said that there were no signs of a concussion. He was taken to an area hospital and is resting comfortably.
“It was a tough thing to watch,” Crabbe said. “You’ve been with this guy all year and something happens like that, it’s trying, no doubt.”
With two weeks remaining in the Spinners’ season, it is doubtful that Johnson will return this season, though nothing is official.
Johnson had not allowed a run in six innings over five starts for Lowell. He was also forced to leave in the first inning of a start in late July, when he was nailed in the knee by a liner.
Johnson had been on a light work schedule after hurling 90 innings for Florida, compiling a 3.90 ERA while also collecting more than 200 at-bats as a position player, hitting .307.
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