Liriano in hospital with fractures after beaning

Liriano in hospital with fractures after beaning

PHOENIX -- The Brewers' clubhouse was somber on Sunday after outfielder Rymer Liriano was hospitalized upon sustaining multiple facial fractures from a pitch that struck him in the face during Milwaukee's 3-1 win over the Dodgers at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Liriano, who will remain in the hospital for further testing and observation and begin the season on the disabled list, was conscious but did not say much as he was being evaluated by medical officials at home plate, according to manager Craig Counsell.

"Stuff like that, when it's that quick, it can be a matter of inches between something that's severe and not as severe," said starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who watched the incident unfold on a clubhouse television. "Hopefully, this isn't bad, because he's one of our guys, and we want him back in here as soon as we can."

Liriano hit by pitch, carted off

Said infielder Colin Walsh: "It's the kind of situation where nobody even wants to go back out and play. But we kind of have to do it. It's just a long wait for word on what happened and how serious it is."

With one out in the eighth inning, a pitch from right-hander Matt West sailed high and tight on Liriano, who appeared to be struck on the cheek near his left eye. He went down immediately as Counsell and head athletic trainer Dan Wright rushed to the scene.

Liriano eventually rolled onto his back for treatment. Medical officials secured his neck and head before strapping him to a back board and removing him from the field on a cart. As the game ended, an ambulance arrived to transport Liriano to a local hospital.

The 24-year-old Liriano was acquired in a trade with the Padres on Jan. 28. He is out of options and competing for a job in the outfield, where center field is an open competition. He is more naturally suited for the corners, but started in center field on Sunday and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

"It's tough to mentally think, 'Oh, I have to step in the box,'" said infielder Jake Elmore, who was in the hole as Liriano batted in the eighth. "And I know it's tough for the pitcher, too. I saw the pitching coach come talk to him. I think that's probably the toughest part, having to step in, and you don't know where the pitcher's confidence is. You see that, and it's in the back of your mind.

"I think maybe some guys who were already done might have seen it in here [on television replays], but we couldn't really see it. I know they say that his nose was gushing blood, and it hadn't stopped when he came in here."

Right fielder Domingo Santana, Liriano's best friend on the team, packed Liriano's belongings after the game. The two are part of a group of players sharing an apartment this spring.

"I just want to say that we're all praying for him," Nelson said. "It's tough for him and his family. Hopefully, everything comes back that he's OK and it's not too severe. It's tough, and it kind of makes you appreciate every day."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.