CLEVELAND: Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ was released from a St. Petersburg, Fla., hospital on Wednesday after getting hit in the left side of the head with a line drive off the bat of Desmond Jennings of the Rays on Tuesday night.
Happ’s injuries were described as a bruise and a cut on his left ear.
Pitchers are easy if inadvertent targets when they let go of the ball, but what can be done about it?
“It’s a very dangerous position to be in,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Even if the pitcher is in a good fielding position, he might be only about 52 feet away [from the hitter].”
One suggestion has been to force pitchers to wear batting helmets.
“Tony La Russa was saying that if you put something on someone’s head that is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit quite right, it might be more dangerous,” Francona said. “Until they get the right answer, they’ll just have to keep working on it.
“It scares everybody when it happens. No matter which team you’re on. When you see it happen, it takes your breath away.”
Several companies are testing liners that can be placed inside of a pitcher’s cap, but testing their effectiveness has not been completed.
ITCHIN’ TO PITCH — Brett Myers (inflamed elbow) will throw a bullpen on Friday and again when he accompanies the team to Philadelphia on Tuesday. ... Vinnie Pestano (right elbow tendinitis) will be shut down for two more days, then begin a throwing program.
ONE MORE TIME? — Michael Bourn (lacerated right index finger) singled, walked and stole a base in his rehab start at Columbus Tuesday night. Wednesday night, he was scheduled to play nine innings in center field.
“After that, we’ll re-evaluate and go from there,” Francona said.
Bourn might be activated for the weekend series against the Tigers.
FARM FACTS — Jerrud Sabourin and Zach MacPhee homered, and Luigi Rodriguez doubled and singled in Carolina’s 6-4 loss to Salem.
— Sheldon Ocker