"It's been a while since I've seen a ball hit back that hard directly at somebody's face," Casali said. "My heart stopped for just a second there. That could be a career changer right there.
"Fortunately, he got his hand up in time and deflected it enough. I'm sure his hand doesn't feel too well now. But better his hand than his head."
Third baseman Evan Longoria also had an up-close look at the play.
"Luckily he got his hand up," Longoria said. "Chris Davis and Manny, when we got out to the field, Manny said he thought it was going to hit him right in the head. Thankfully, it didn't. That would have been really bad."
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.