Diaz avoids major injury after foul ball to face

Cardinals rookie regains vision, but sports welt near right eyebrow

Diaz avoids major injury after foul ball to face

KANSAS CITY -- Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz was headed to a local hospital for followup tests late Monday evening following a 6-2 loss to the Royals, which went final just minutes after Diaz fouled a ball off the top of his right orbital bone. Initially fearful that he may have sustained damage to his vision, Diaz was encouraged by early tests that showed no bone fracture.

The Cardinals still wanted him to undergo further testing for precautionary purposes.

"In the beginning, I was a little scared because I couldn't see anything and it was a little blurry," said Diaz, speaking through a team translator. "But thank God it just went down and I'm now able to see just fine. It was actually a really scary moment. A lot of things went through my mind. Thank God it wasn't worse."

Diaz, who logged two doubles earlier in the game, sustained the injury while leading off in the ninth. He lunged for a Joakim Soria pitch, bounced it off the plate and then watched it carom into his face. Diaz immediately hunched over in pain and spent several minutes on the field with a team athletic trainer, who held a towel to Diaz's face.

The impact did not leave Diaz bloody, but he did depart Kauffman Stadium with a sizeable welt between the top of his right eye and his eyebrow. It did not appear as if Diaz was yet fully able to open his eye.

"Right now it just hurts right where I was hit," Diaz said. "I hope it's just a scare in the moment. When the inflammation goes down, I hope to be able to keep helping the team."

"Everything seems to be fine," manager Mike Matheny said. "Right now, it just looks like he has a goose egg over his eye."

The Cardinals will have a better feel on Tuesday whether Diaz will require any time on the disabled list. Indications on Monday were that he would not need to be sidelined that long. That's obviously good news for the Cards, who have watched Diaz solidify himself as the team's two-hole hitter. Diaz entered Monday ranked ninth in the National League with a .312 batting average.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.