Los Angeles Angel Taylor Ward suffered facial fractures as a result of a pitch that hit him in the cheekbone and eye area, MLB reported.
Ward is an outfielder for the California team and has been one of the club’s top hitters on a roster that features one of the sport’s biggest stars, pitcher and home-run-hitting phenom Shohei Otani.
However, all eyes were on Ward on July 29, 2023, when he took to the batter’s box with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. With two strikes, a 91.7 mph sinking fastball from Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah flew out of control into the face of Ward, knocking the helmet off his head.
After falling to the ground immediately, Ward was seen holding his face and checking to see if there was blood on his hand. Indeed there was, as blood streamed down Ward’s face while he was on all fours.
After about five minutes, a cart was brought out from center field, and Ward was able to sit up under his own power and climb aboard. A standing ovation from fans ensued as cameras showed Ward, still in visible pain, holding a towel to his face as his left eye appeared to be swollen shut.
“I feel really bad about it, and I’ll definitely be looking to see how he’s doing,” Blue Jays’ Manoah said. “Hopefully, he’s back on the field and recovers pretty quickly.”
“We didn’t come back and win like we would’ve hoped. But now the game is over, all we can think about is if Wardo is gonna be OK or not,” said Angels teammate Mike Moustakas.
“There are a lot of tests to be run [on Ward],” said manager Phil Nevin, who watched the game from a suite while serving a suspension. “You guys saw the replay — it got him pretty good. It compounds things right now with the loss. But our thoughts are with him,” he added.
Follow-up reports by the team stated that Ward went to the hospital for further testing and was diagnosed with multiple facial fractures. He was released from hospital and is expected to require surgery. Nevin said there is no timetable for him to return.
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