Update, 12:15 p.m. Tuesday: Justin Turner offers update after taking pitch to face: No breaks, no broken teeth
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Justin Turner took a pitch off the face Monday during a Red Sox spring game against the Tigers at JetBlue Park and was brought to a local hospital.
The Red Sox said Turner was treated for soft-tissue injuries and monitored for a concussion. He was stable and alert, per the team, and in good spirits while he underwent further testing.
In the first inning, Turner was struck by a pitch from the Tigers’ Matt Manning. Turner immediately dropped to the dirt in the batter’s box, bleeding from his nose area.
“Anything that is above the shoulders, it’s always scary,” manager Alex Cora said after the Sox’ 7-1 win. “You go and you just react. There was a lot of blood there. So let’s get everybody there and try to help him out. He was coherent.”
Red Sox head trainer Brandon Henry and Cora immediately tended to Turner and ultimately removed him from the game.
Early in the evening, Turner’s wife Kourtney issued an update via Twitter: “Thank you to everyone that reached out about Justin and sent prayers. We’re home now and he’s resting (okay - maybe listening to the replay of the game). 16 stitches and a lot of swelling but we are thanking God for no fractures & clear scans.”
Thank you to everyone that reached out about Justin and sent prayers. We’re home now and he’s resting (okay - maybe listening to the replay of the game). 16 stitches and a lot of swelling but we are thanking God for no fractures & clear scans. ❤️ @redturn2— Kourtney Turner (@court_with_a_K) March 6, 2023
First baseman Triston Casas, who was not in the lineup, relayed that the injury left him very uneasy.
“I was distraught for the first two innings, honestly,” Casas said. “I mean, as a baseball player, that’s the biggest fear, running into a pitch like that. Coming up and in like that is a scary sight.
“My heart dropped. Like a pit-in-my-stomach feeling. I hope he’s all right. I saw him walking off, which was a good sign, but I could tell he was moving slowly.”
Turner, 38, signed a one-year contract in December with the Red Sox for $8.3 million that includes a 2024 player option at $13.4 million. He is expected to be the team’s primary designated hitter while also filling in at first and third base. He was in the lineup Monday as the first baseman.
“Hopefully, he’s OK, and he can join us sooner rather than later,” Cora said.
Mondesi works through process
Infielder Adalberto Mondesi tested the strength and progress of his surgically repaired knee. A further update will be provided Tuesday. He has yet to play in a spring game as he continues to rehabilitate a left ACL tear.
“This is a normal part of the process,” Mondesi said, “so I’m just working through it.”
Mondesi, 27, is expected to play up the middle when he is ready. He’s an athletic player with game-changing speed. So far, he has only been taking batting practice and ground balls, but Cora said he is further ahead in his recovery than when he came into camp.
Though Mondesi noted that his mentality is to be ready for the start of the season, that is unlikely considering the Red Sox are just over three weeks away from Opening Day March 30.
James Paxton played catch from his knees, three days after leaving his first spring start with a hamstring injury. Brayan Bello (right forearm tightness) will throw a bullpen Tuesday or Wednesday. Garrett Whitlock (hip) participated in pitchers’ fielding practice for the first time Monday.
Lefthanded reliever Joely Rodriguez, who underwent minor offseason surgery on his left shoulder, is the only Sox pitcher who hasn’t pitched in a spring game, but he’s scheduled to take the mound Wednesday in a scrimmage against Puerto Rico, which is prepping for the World Baseball Classic.
“We’re saving all the bullets for that game,” Cora said jokingly.
Third baseman Rafael Devers and shortstop Kiké Hernández played in their final spring game before joining their teams for the World Baseball Classic. Both players will stay local until tournament play for Pool D begins this weekend in Miami. Devers’s Dominican Republic team will practice at the Twins complex across town while Puerto Rico uses Fenway South. Reliever Richard Bleier left to join Israel, which is also in Pool D, in Jupiter . … The Sox released catcher Kole Cottam, a fourth-round draft pick in 2018. He hit .258 with a .768 OPS over four minor league seasons and finished 2022 with Triple A Worcester.
Julian McWilliams can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.