The Mariners announced he suffered a right hand contusion.
PEORIA, Ariz. — Marco Gonzales’ start on Monday night wasn’t going particularly well from the first pitch of the game, and it only got worse when it ended prematurely with a trainer holding his aching right hand as he walked off the field.
The young lefty was struck in the right hand by a hard line drive off the bat of Leury Garcia in the second inning of the Mariners’ Cactus League game against the White Sox at Peoria Stadium. The ball rocketed back at Gonzales, who instinctively and unsuccessfully tried to put up his glove to catch it or at least deflect it from hitting him in the wrong place. Instead, it hit near the bottom of his hand/wrist area not protected by the glove, knocking it off his hand. He picked up the ball and fired it to first to get the out, but was in obvious pain.
Manager Scott Servais and senior athletic trainer Rob Nodine immediately went to the mound to check on Gonzales. After a brief conversation, they exited the mound with Nodine carefully holding Gonzales’ right arm.
The Mariners later announced that the early diagnosis was that Gonzales suffered a contusion on his right hand. More tests on the hand are likely to happen on Tuesday.
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“We are going to reevaluate tomorrow, but as of now I think I’m going to be all right,” Gonzales said. “We just did an initial scan. We don’t know the full extent of it, but I don’t think there are any breaks. And it was the right hand to get hit on. I’m thankful for it to be on that hand.”
Where did the ball hit him?
“It got me right on the base of my hand, right below my thumb,” he said. “I guess I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch it.”
Gonzales had the right hand heavily wrapped around the thumb and wrist. When he first appeared, it looked like a cast.
“This is just a wrap to keep the inflammation down,” he said.
Gonzales admitted he never even saw the ball coming at him.
“That was one of the first ones that was hit back at me that I didn’t even see,” he said. “I only saw it kind of off the bat and that’s it. Honestly, I didn’t even think he was going to hit it. I was trying to elevate and he tomahawked it back at me. Luckily, I was able to knock it down and get an out.”
He’s the second Seattle pitcher to leave a game after being struck by a line drive. Felix Hernandez was hit on his right upper forearm on Feb. 26 against the Cubs. Hernandez has yet to throw off a mound since, though the hope is he will throw his first bullpen session since the injury on Tuesday.
Gonzales had been struggling in the game. He gave up two runs in the first inning, including a a homer on his first pitch of the game — a towering blast off the bat of Adam Engel. He faced eight batters in the first inning, allowing five to reach base with three hits and two walks.
“To be completely honest, I think the leadoff guy threw me off my game,” he said. “Right away, my main objective was to fill up the zone. I think after that (homer) I tried to get a little too fine and it threw me off my game a little bit. I tried to get back on track. I was honestly feeling a lot better in that second inning, but I guess it’s just not my night.”
The Mariners projected starting rotation is already dealing with injuries to Hernandez and Erasmo Ramirez, who only just started throwing again after being shutdown for three weeks with a lat strain.