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Tampa Bay Rays prospect Garrett Whitley struck in face by foul ball, suffers multiple facial fractures

Whitley will miss significant time but is expected to make a full recovery

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Some very unfortunate news this afternoon as Garrett Whitley has a suffered what is being described as a ‘right-facial injury’ after being struck by a foul ball during the 4th inning of Monday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Whitley will undergo further testing to determine the severity of his injury.

Whitley was sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout when Orioles third baseman Renato Nunez struck a ball that darted toward the Rays dugout. The ball was able to squeeze perfectly between the dugout railing and after one skip on the dugout steps, bounced and struck Whitley on the right side of his face.

The Rays training staff immediately went to Whitley’s assistance, covering his face with a towel and escorting him into the team’s clubhouse.

Whitley was the Rays first round selection in the 2015 draft — 13th overall. It’s been a struggle for Whitley to remain healthy for a full season as he has missed significant time with myriad injuries, including the entire 2018 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He spent this past season at High-A and hit .226/.339/.412 with 10 home runs over 439 plate appearances.

Whitley was at the game as a minor league reserve player; there was some initial confusion over who actually was struck by the foul ball as Whitley was wearing the number 81, which is assigned to RHP Ryan Thompson, a non-roster invite.

UPDATE - 3.3.20 - 12:30pm

There still isn’t much info that has been released as of now, but Rays have said that Garrett Whitley is resting at his spring training home. He did suffer multiple facial fractures, but didn’t lose consciousness after the he was struck. Kevin Cash also said that Whitley didn’t suffer any eye damage, but he would miss some significant time and should eventually make a full recovery.