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Rockies pitcher has skull fracture, concussion after line drive to head

Colorado's Ryan Feltner was assisted by trainers after being struck in the head by a ball off the bat of Philadelphia's Nick Castellanos. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Rockies pitcher Ryan Feltner suffered a skull fracture and a concussion Saturday when he was hit by a line drive during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Manager Bud Black said Sunday.

Black told reporters (via that after being taken to a hospital, Feltner was texting teammates, medical staff and others later Saturday and appeared to be “fairly lucid.” The manager said the injury did not require surgery and that Feltner might be able to visit Colorado’s Coors Field on Monday and Tuesday, although it could be much longer than that before the 26-year-old starter is ready to take the mound again.

“Overall, he’s fine,” Black said. “The feeling’s that it could have been worse, obviously. But he’s going to miss some time.”

Feltner was pitching in the top of the second inning Saturday when Philadelphia’s Nick Castellanos pulled an 88-mph slider back up the middle. Traveling at a recorded 92.7 mph off Castellanos’s bat (via the Associated Press), the ball struck Feltner in the back right side of the head. He crumpled to the mound and lay face down for several moments before walking off the field with some assistance.

Feltner was placed on the 15-day injured list, and the Rockies recalled reliever Riley Pint from Class AAA Albuquerque to take Feltner’s place on the active roster. It was not immediately clear who would fill in for Feltner in Colorado’s rotation.

Asked if Feltner may be out days, weeks or months, Black said his estimate would be “probably on the longer end of that.”

“The biggest thing is he has to let the trauma heal and let nature take its course on this one,” said the manager, a former MLB pitcher in his seventh season with Colorado. “He suffered a head injury. Time is the best healer. From everything that I’ve been told here this morning, things are looking up.”

The incident marked the second time in less than a week that a major league pitcher was injured in such a way off a line drive. On May 7, the Royals’ Ryan Yarbrough suffered three non-displaced fractures near his right eye when he was struck by a ball off the bat of the Oakland Athletics’ Ryan Noda. The Royals said Monday that Yarbrough had entered the concussion protocol but was out of a hospital and “doing well.”

Black told reporters Sunday his understanding was that “things are looking up” for Feltner.

A fourth-round pick by the Rockies in 2018 out of Ohio State, Feltner first reached the majors in 2021 and became more of a regular last year. Over eight starts this season, he has notched a 2-3 record and a 5.86 ERA.