13-year-old Little Leaguer Hayden Walton, from Winslow, AZ, was killed Tuesday when a baseball hit him in the chest as he was attempting to bunt.
“He took an inside pitch right in the chest,” Winslow Little League official Jamey Jones said. “After that he took two steps to first base and collapsed.”
He died Wednesday morning at a local hospital. Paramedics said the cause was commotio cordis. His heart stopped after he was hit by the pitch.
“Words cannot adequately express our sorrow on the passing of Hayden,” Stephen Keener, CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball said Wednesday. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hayden’s family, all the players and volunteers of the Winslow Little League, his classmates, and his friends, at this difficult time.”
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Twins have picked up free agent left-hander Martín Pérez on a one-year deal. Financial terms of the deal have yet to be announced, but it looks like a club option is included for the 2020 season. The Twins have not officially confirmed the signing.
Pérez, 27, missed 85 days of the Rangers’ 2018 campaign after undergoing elbow surgery on his non-throwing arm. He sustained the injury partway through the 2017 offseason; as the story goes, he was charged by a bull at his ranch in Venezuela and fell on his right arm as he was trying to get out of the animal’s path. (He later killed and ate said bull.) When he finally returned to the mound, he cobbled together a 2-7 record in 15 starts with a 6.22 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 5.5 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR through 85 1/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.
As they approach the start of the 2019 season, the Twins will be looking for something a little more, well, bullish from Pérez. Prior to his injury, he turned in two solid seasons with the Rangers in 2016 and 2017, nearing the 200-inning threshold in both campaigns and providing a combined value of 4.2 fWAR at a time when Texas’ starters collectively ranked sixth-worst in the league.