Rockies Pitcher Ryan Feltner Suffers Fractured Skull After Ball to the Head: 'Could Have Been Worse'

Feltner was discharged from the hospital Sunday after taking a 92.7 mile per hour line drive to the head

Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Ryan Feltner
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Ryan Feltner

Ryan Feltner, a pitcher on the Colorado Rockies, is recovering after a line drive hit him in the head during a game Saturday, fracturing his skull.

Feltner, 26, spent the night at a Denver area hospital and the team's manager Bud Black told reporters Sunday that "overall, he's fine."

"I think the feeling is that it could have been worse," Black said, predicting that the right handed pitcher might be out for months as his skull heals.

The incident occurred during the second inning of Saturday's game between the Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies. The batter, Nick Castellanos, swung and struck a line drive that came screaming back at Feltner, striking him on the back right side of the head as the pitcher tried to turn away at the last second.

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Dustin Bradford/Getty Ryan Feltner
Dustin Bradford/Getty Ryan Feltner

The Associated Press reported the ball was traveling 92.7 miles per hour when it struck Feltner's head, sending him straight to the ground. The ball trickled over to first baseman C.J. Cron fielded the ball and immediately called timeout, throwing his hands in the air and looking to the bench.

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"It happens, and then I felt like I was running to first base because it was my job," Castellanos , 31, told reporters after the game, according to CNN. "Instantly what I thought was, like: 'Holy s---, I hit him.' There was a part of me that wanted to go to the mound, but I guess the baseball player takes over and you go to first. As soon as I touched first, I turned around and was just really hoping that what happened didn't happen."

Dustin Bradford/Getty Ryan Feltner
Dustin Bradford/Getty Ryan Feltner

Two trainers from the Rockies' medical staff ran out to help Feltner, who was laying on the ground and shaking his head. Feltner didn't appear to lose consciousness and was able to get to his feet and walk off the field alongside the team's medical staff.

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Black said Feltner was "still fairly lucid" and was able to text with family and teammates while he was in the hospital Saturday night. Doctors told Feltner he didn't need surgery, Black said.

In his previous at-bat against Feltner, Major League Baseball's stats show Castellanos had hit a ball 104.9 miles per hour through the infield.

Feltner was discharged from the hospital Sunday and would likely be back with the Rockies this week, though he won't be playing until he's fully recovered, the Rockies' manager said.

"He just needs time to let the fractures heal and the concussion to diminish," Black said. "From everything that I've been told here this morning, things are looking up."

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