CINCINNATI — Pitcher Daniel Castano was hit on the forehead by a 104 mph line drive off the bat of Donovan Solano in the first inning of the Miami Marlins‘ 7-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
The ball hit the bill of his cap and ricocheted off the crown, manager Don Mattingly said. The team said Castano has a mild concussion and a bruised forehead and a CT scan was normal.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Castano said after the game, wearing a bandage on his forehead where some skin had scraped off. “I was down for a second. I was a little out of if. When I woke up, I asked, ‘What happened?’ I’m much better now. I’m a little bit tired, but I’ll be all right.”
The left-hander fell to the field on his knees and held a hand to his head as catcher Jacob Stallings, manager Don Mattingly and athletic trainers went to the mound to check on him. Castano, 27, did not appear to lose consciousness, and the door on the outfield fence opened as a cart prepared to enter the field.
“It’s a little bit scary,” Mattingly said after talking on the phone with Reds manager David Bell, who called to check on Castano. “Your biggest fear is damage. He’s about as good as could be expected.”
Castano rose to his feet about 90 seconds later and left the field under his own power, a towel draped over his neck, after Solano had walked over, put a hand on the pitcher’s shoulder and spoke with him.
“It is really awful to see that happen to anyone,” Bell said. “I’ve seen it happen before. I had a conversation to see that everything was OK. It is just a major relief to hear that. It’s very scary for everyone involved, certainly for their pitcher and their home team and our team. You almost want to stop playing the game. When he was kneeling and walked off on his own, we all felt a little better.”
The ball was hit so hard it caromed to third baseman Joey Wendle, who caught it for the out.
“I’m just glad we got the out,” Castano said, smiling
Castano faced just five batters before getting hurt. He is 2-7 in 17 starts and five relief appearances in his big league career. He was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville to make the start.
“They say the farther it goes, the better off you are,” Mattingly said. “If it hits you and drops straight down, that means you caught it flush.”
Castano said he had never before been hit by a comebacker.
“That’s terrifying,” Reds starter Graham Ashcraft said. “You never want to see a player hurt like that. I was waiting to see blood coming out. I thought he got hit in cheek or his eye bone or something. I am hoping he’s OK. My prayers go out to him and his family. I hope he can come back and make his next start.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.