JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — An intrasquad matchup Wednesday between two precocious talents left Giancarlo Stanton dazed and Jose Fernandez shaken.
Stanton was hit in the back of the helmet during a Miami Marlins practice game by a fastball that got away from Fernandez, the team’s top pitching prospect. Stanton remained on his feet but left the game and said the beaning affected his eyesight.
“I wasn’t dizzy,” he said. “I saw a little grayness and fuzziness on the outside of my eyes, but it’s subsiding now.”
Stanton bruised the back of his neck, and X-rays were planned, but there was no sign of a concussion, manager Mike Redmond said.
After the game, Stanton stood in the clubhouse with an ice bag on his neck, while Fernandez sat alone at his locker with his head down. The 20-year-old right-hander, the Marlins’ first-round draft pick in 2011, said the pitch slipped from his hand but still had plenty of velocity.
“Over 95 mph, I know it was. It’s a scary moment,” Fernandez said. “My hands were sweating a lot. It was just not a good pitch. I feel bad. It’s not a good feeling, I promise you.”
The pitch, the first from Fernandez to Stanton, struck the slugger on the lower edge of the helmet above his neck. Fernandez followed Stanton into the clubhouse to apologize.
“When I asked him how he was doing, he laughed,” Fernandez said. “I told him I was sorry. He said, `Bro, it’s OK. It’s baseball. It happens.'”
Despite the beaning, Stanton said he didn’t expect to miss any playing time. Redmond agreed that might be the case.
“He’s a tough guy. It didn’t even drop him,” Redmond said. “Probably the quicker we get him back in the box the better, after something like that.”
Stanton led the NL in slugging percentage last year, ranked second in home runs with 37 and made the All-Star team for the first time.
Fernandez is expected to start the season with Double-A Jacksonville and is considered a candidate to break into the majors this summer. The youngster hit five batters in 134 innings last year but said he had never beaned anyone before.
“You worry about Fernandez and how a young kid like that responds,” Redmond said. “It will take him a couple of days to move on from it, but hopefully he’ll be fine.”