Tests rule out facial fractures for Max Stassi


While Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had earlier surgery today to repair a fractured jaw, the news is more encouraging for Astros rookie catcher Max Stassi, who had a pitch deflect off his shoulder and hit him in the mouth last night against the Rangers.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that Stassi stayed at the Medical Center of Arlington last night, during which CAT scan and X-rays showed no facial fractures. The 22-year-old was scheduled to travel to Houston today to undergo concussion tests, but the early signs are promising.

“We were relieved because looking at it live it seemed like it might be worse,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He was fortunate that there’s no fracture. Obviously any time there’s a blow to the head you have to be careful.”

Stassi was called up by the Astros this week after batting .277/.333/.529 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI over 76 games this season with Double-A Corpus Christi. He is 2-for-6 through his first two games in the majors while the bases-loaded hit-by-pitch last night gave him his first career RBI. That’s probably not the way he dreamed it up.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.