Nippert feeling OK but headed to disabled list
Texas Rangers pitcher Dustin Nippert might have been the calmest person at Comerica Park after he was hit in the head by a batted ball.
Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson's line drive sent Nippert crumbling to the ground and a hush fell over the stadium as players and fans feared he had been seriously injured.
Nippert, though, knew that he was OK.
''It happened so fast that I didn't even have time to get worried,'' he said. ''I was stunned, and then I was surrounded by people.''
Rangers catcher Matt Treanor was the first to arrive, followed quickly by his teammates and the Texas training staff. Nippert quickly sat up, and didn't even want to leave the game.
''When they let me stand up, they started pushing me toward the dugout,'' he said. ''I was waiting for them to let me throw a couple pitches to see if I was OK, but they didn't give me a chance.''
Nippert, who never lost consciousness, was taken to a local hospital for a precautionary CT scan, but was back at the team hotel before the Rangers won the 14-inning game at 11:58 p.m..
''They told me that all the tests were normal - I don't have a concussion, just some bruises and a lump,'' he said. ''I don't even really have a headache. The only thing is that I get dizzy when I stand up, and they said that was normal and would go away in a day or two.''
One of the happiest people with the outcome was Jackson, who visited Nippert in the Texas clubhouse before Tuesday's game. He ended up on second base after the ball ricocheted off Nippert's head and into shallow left field for a double.
''It is part of the game, but you never want to see that happen,'' Jackson said Monday night. ''It's weird, because you want to stop and check on him, but you have to keep running.''
Despite Nippert's relatively mild injuries, he didn't disagree with the team's decision to put him on the 15-day disabled list.
''This isn't like having a sore elbow or shoulder - this is my brain we're talking about,'' he said. ''I don't have a problem with taking things slowly.''
The Rangers were forced into the move because they used seven pitchers Monday.
''We needed some help in the bullpen, and they told us that Dustin should probably take four or five days off, so we decided to do the smart thing and be extremely cautious with him,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Texas recalled reliever Doug Mathis from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Nippert. Mathis, who is 1-1 with a 6.98 ERA this season for the Rangers, is capable of pitching multiple innings.
''We need someone who can go long right now, and Mathis can do that,'' Washington said.