No injury for Villar after being hit by pitch

No injury for Villar after being hit by pitch

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Infielder Jonathan Villar left Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves -- a 6-5 loss -- in the sixth inning when he was struck above the right knee by a pitch but did not sustain any injury.

After being hit by Brady Feigl, Villar lay motionless on the ground for a moment before walking off the field. He's trying to win a utility spot on the club after having not played any positions other than shortstop since 2008.

"That's a pretty sensitive spot to get hit," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He did say he could stay in the game, but I just removed him for precaution reasons. He was only going to play one more inning on defense anyway. Sometimes you squeeze that last at-bat out of him, but in that case it was a painful one for him."

Villar started at shortstop on Opening Day last year and appeared in 86 games, with 78 starts. He hit .209 with seven homers, 17 RBIs and 17 stolen bases, but his inconsistent play on both sides of the ball led to a stint in Triple-A.

The Astros acquired Villar along with outfielder Anthony Gose and pitcher J.A. Happ from the Phillies in exchange for Roy Oswalt on July 29, 2010. He was considered one of the club's top prospects before making his debut in 2013.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.