Rangers' Willie Calhoun Struck in Mouth With Pitch vs Dodgers; Suffers Fractured Jaw
We've had our first scary moment of the baseball season and it came way too soon.
Texas Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun was struck in the jaw with a 95-MPH fastball that got away from Julio Urias in the 1st inning of Sunday's game at Surprise Stadium. The pitch came on a 1-1 count.
Calhoun remained on all fours on the ground for several minutes as he was tended to by the Rangers medical staff. The television broadcast even showed Calhoun spitting out blood. He held a towel around his mouth until a cart came to bring him off the field. He was eventually able to make it to his feet, with the spectators giving Calhoun a rounding sound of support and concern for the Rangers young outfielder.
Nick Solak replaced Calhoun in the game.
Calhoun was transported to Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix via helicopter for further evaluation. Rangers manager Chris Woodward has also made the trip to the hospital with Calhoun in care of his player. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu took over the team's managerial duties in the game against the Dodgers. General manager Jon Daniels also made his way to the hospital.
Rangers slugger Joey Gallo sent out his concern for his fellow teammate. Gallo was on deck when Calhoun was struck with the pitch.
After the conclusion of the game in Surprise, the team formally announced that after a CT scan and further evaluation, Calhoun suffered a fractured jaw. He will undergo further evaluation on Monday.
In the past, Calhoun has worn the protective extension of the batting helmet that protects the jaw and face from instances like this. Unfortunately, he was not wearing it in today's game, leaving nothing to stop the fastball that got away from Urias.
"He's usually wearing his flap, but he hasn't worn it," teammate Joey Gallo said. "It was tough to play after that."
Willie Calhoun was slated to be the Rangers every day left fielder going into the season.
Willie Calhoun had successful surgery on his jaw on Monday evening at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hosptial and Medical Center in Phoenix. The surgery was performed by reconstruction surgery specialist Dr. Steven Wiener.
Calhoun did not have to have his jaw wired shut. Instead, a plate was inserted to stabilize his jaw. He will be limited in his physical activity for two weeks and then be re-evaluated.
He sent out a message on social media thanking everyone for their support.
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