Two Tampa Bay Rays players were injured by baseballs Friday afternoon: right-hander Chris Archer, and the other half of the second base platoon, Daniel Robertson.
Archer was scheduled for 105 pitches or 7.0 innings in a controlled environment on the back fields during his final tuneup of the spring. After throwing his 59th pitch in the fifth inning, the hurler was hit on the lateral side of his right forearm, just below the elbow, by a comebacker on his follow through. Archer, thankfully, sustained only a bruise.
Archer had the area covered with a pad and a compression sleeve following treatment by the team’s athletic trainers. He told reporters the bruise had some blue coloring and stitches of ball were visible on his arm.
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) March 23, 2018
In spite of the injury, Archer seems confident that he will make his Opening Day start as scheduled, saying he doesn’t think the bruised forearm will impact his availability in the home opener against the Red Sox.
It’s just a bruise in kind of an awkward place but not on the bone, Archer said. It doesn’t look like Opening Day is going to be impacted at all. …I wasn’t scared. When I stood up and I felt where it hit me I knew that it didn’t hit the bone. And you can get the inflammation out pretty quickly.
Manager Kevin Cash received word of the injury during a Major League game in Port Charlotte, and said Archer was removed from the game for “very precautionary” reasons and should be fine. He later confirmed that Archer should be ready for Opening Day.
Meanwhile, Robertson was hit by pitch on his left hand during an at-bat. He was pulled from the game, and banged his batting helmet in frustration on dugout rail as he left the field. Robertson sustained what was called a left-hand contusion and underwent precautionary X-Rays following the game.
Cash said the X-Rays came back negative, but Robertson won’t play on Saturday in Bradenton … although he was not likely scheduled to play anyway.