You never want to see a ball strike a person at a baseball game, be it from a foul ball sent screaming into the stands or a fastball erroneously placed on a hand, arm, or leg. During the third inning of Saturday’s Phillies-Braves game, Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb had a close call in the worst way possible after J.T. Realmuto‘s 102-m.p.h. line drive ricocheted off of back of the pitcher’s head.
As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reported, Newcomb was able to exit the field without additional assistance. It’s expected that he’ll undergo a more thorough evaluation later tonight or tomorrow, at which point the extent of any potential injury will be revealed.
Prior to the incident, Newcomb recorded just 2 2/3 innings with three hits, two runs, two walks, and three strikeouts allowed. The lefty was swiftly replaced by Touki Toussaint, who finished off the third inning with a hit-by-pitch and two run-scoring plays, including an error by Josh Donaldson and an RBI double that brought the inning to a close as Tyler Flowers tagged Jay Bruce at the plate for the third out.
The Phillies currently lead 4-2 in the fourth inning.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.