J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays was released from a Florida hospital and said he’s looking forward to pitching again, one day after being hit in the side of the head by a line drive.
“I’m in good spirits,” Happ said in a statement through the Major League Baseball team. “I definitely appreciate the support of the baseball community. It’s been overwhelming the messages and kind words I’ve been getting. I just want to thank everyone for that, and I look forward to getting back out there soon.”
The Blue Jays said earlier today that Happ was “responsive and doing well” after he was cut and bruised on his left ear when struck by the ball off the bat of Desmond Jennings of the Tampa Bay Rays. Happ, 30, collapsed face down on the pitcher’s mound after the ball ricocheted off his head, though he didn’t lose consciousness.
After having his head and neck stabilized, Happ was taken from the field on a stretcher to undergo medical tests last night at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Happ, who also had a bandage over the area of his left eye and ear, lifted a hand to give a wave to the crowd at Tropicana Field as he was taken off. He was discharged from the hospital today after additional testing.
“I could barely watch it,” Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey told reporters in the clubhouse last night. “It paralyzes you a little bit. That is the position on the field closest to the batter. When you hear the sound off the bat and it sounds like it hits another bat, it’s really scary.”
Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy was hit in the head by a line drive last September, causing a skull fracture that required surgery and a six-day hospital stay. He now pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Happ, who has a 2-2 record with a 4.91 earned-run average this season, allowed four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings against the Rays. The Blue Jays scored five runs over the final three innings for a 6-4 win.
“Those next couple innings after that happened, we were really demoralized in the clubhouse,” Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind said. “It was a tough situation.”