UPDATE: Turner’s wife, Kourtney, tweets that her husband has been discharged from the hospital and is back at home resting. She adds that Turner received 16 stitches and while there is a lot of swelling, there are no fractures and all scans came back clean.
In the first inning of Monday’s 7-1 win over the Tigers at JetBlue Park, Red Sox infielder Justin Turner left the game after taking a pitch from Detroit starter Matt Manning off the face.
Turner, who was batting third and starting at first base, took the first pitch he saw from Manning off the left side of his face with no outs in the third. The 38-year-old immediately fell to the ground and was tended to by Red Sox manager Alex Cora and head athletic trainer Brandon Henry.
Although he was bleeding heavily, Turner never appeared to lose consciousness. He was able to get back on his feet and walk off the field while Henry held a towel to his face. Niko Kavadas then came on to pinch-run for Turner, who was taken by ambulance to a Fort Myers-area hospital for treatment shortly thereafter.
At approximately 3:19 p.m. eastern time, the Red Sox issued an update regarding Turner’s status. It read: “Justin Turner was taken to a local hospital after being hit in the face by a pitch. He is receiving treatment for soft tissue injuries and is being monitored for a concussion. He will undergo further testing, and we’ll update as we have more information. Justin is stable, alert and in good spirits given the circumstances.”
Following Monday’s Grapefruit League contest, Cora reiterated to reporters (including MLB.com’s Ian Browne) that Turner was alert and in good spirits. He then indicated that Manning’s pitch hit Turner somewhere between the nose and just above the mouth.
“Anything that is above the shoulders, it’s always scary,” Cora said. “So you hear [it], you go and you just react. There was a lot of blood there. So it was just like, ‘Let’s get everybody there and try to help him out.’ He was coherent.”
Manning, for his part, apologized for what happened when speaking with members of the Detroit media (including Chris McCosky of The Detroit News). The 25-year-old right-hander took responsibility and relayed that he did not intend to hit Turner.
“Just a complete accident. The ball got away from me,” Manning said. “I got a swing and miss on a ball up in the zone and tried to go back to it. It got away from me. I definitely want to apologize to him and let him know it wasn’t intentional.”
As of now, it is not yet clear how much time, if any, Turner will miss following Monday’s incident. the Red Sox signed the former Dodgers star to a a one-year deal back in January that comes with $15 million in guaranteed money and a player option for 2024.
Coming into camp this spring, Turner projected to be Boston’s starting designated hitter and a right-handed hitting option at first and third base to complement the left-handed hitting duo of Triston Casas and Rafael Devers.
Since Opening Day is just weeks away now, what transpired on Monday could throw a wrench into those plans. With that being said, it seems likely that more information pertaining to Turner’s health will be made available at some point before Tuesday night’s game against the Braves in North Port.
“Hopefully he’s OK and he can join us sooner rather than later,” said Cora.
(Picture of Justin Turner: Megan Briggs/Getty Images)