Rays farmhand Garrett Whitley is going to be out of action for an extended period of time after suffering multiple facial fractures from a foul ball that hit him in the dugout, manager Kevin Cash told reporters, including Josh Tolentino of The Athletic. The incident happened Monday in spring training. Whitley was in the dugout and took a shot to the right side of his face from a ball off the bat of Orioles infielder Renato Nunez. You can see video of it here.
Whitley, 22, didn't lose consciousness and was immediately tended to by athletic trainers on the bench. He was sent to the hospital and later released Monday night. There is not yet any timetable for a possible return to the field. Cash told reporters Whitley is working with specialists to determine his rehab plan. Fortunately, there was not any damage to his eye.
Whitley took to Twitter to thank those who sent him well wishes.
Thank you to everyone who reached out with well wishes today. I truly appreciate every single one of you.— Garrett Whitley (@RealGWhit) March 3, 2020
Whitley, an outfielder, was the Rays' first-round pick in 2015 -- 13th overall -- out of Niskayuna High School in New York. He missed all of the 2018 season after a labrum injury in his right shoulder. Last season, he spent his time in Class A Charlotte, hitting .226/.339/.412 with 25 doubles, seven triples, 10 homers, 40 RBI, 51 runs and 16 steals in 114 games.
Whitley seemed ticketed for Double-A this season, but with the facial injuries it's hard to know what his path will be moving forward. Whitley owns a career slash of .236/.344/.398 in 325 minor-league games.