Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was alert and sent to a hospital after being hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of slugger Giancarlo Stanton during live batting practice Saturday, a frightening scene during the team’s first official summer camp workout.
Tanaka’s hat flew off and he immediately collapsed to the ground, cradling his head at Yankee Stadium. Trainers quickly ran to Tanaka, who stayed down for a few minutes before sitting up.
Trainers tended to his head and appeared to check his vision. Tanaka was helped to his feet and walked off the field with help.
The Yankees said in a statement that Tanaka was responsive and walking under his own power. He was sent to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for further evaluation.
Stanton, who had his jaw broken by a high fastball in 2014, bent over at home plate and watched motionlessly. New York star Aaron Judge repeatedly waved behind home plate and asked a video journalist to stop taking images.
Yankees players, some still stretching at the start of the club’s first official practice since Major League Baseball set a truncated 60-game schedule last month, stood or knelt silently.
Stanton, who has a $US325 million (nearly $470 million) MLB contract, was the third batter Tanaka faced to start the session and no protective screen was in place.
The music that was playing over the sound system was turned off and a screen was put in front of the mound. Pitcher Jordan Montgomery began warming up and started to throw to hitters about five minutes after Tanaka walked off. The music was turned back on a few minutes later.
The 31-year-old Tanaka was 11-9 with a 4.45 ERA last season. The Japanese star is 75-43 in six years with the Yankees.