Rays minor league pitcher hospitalized after taking liner to head


New York Yankees’ Tyler Zombro delivers a pitch during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP/WFLA) — Tyler Zombro, a minor league pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, is in stable condition after being hit in the head by a line drive during a game.

The frightening scene prompted the Triple-A Durham Bulls to suspend its game Thursday night in North Carolina. Zombro, a right-hander in the Tampa Bay Rays organization, was hit by a sharp line drive from Norfolk’s Brett Cumberland in the eighth inning.

Zombro crumbled awkwardly to the ground, lay motionless for a moment face down, then began to convulse uncontrollably as teammates and a trainer rushed toward the mound.

The Rays said Thursday night Zombro had been taken to Duke University Hospital in Durham and was “in stable condition.”

The organization released another statement Friday about his progress.

“As of this morning, Tyler remains under the care of the nurses and doctors at Duke University Hospital. The updates from overnight have been positive, and he remains in stable condition,” the team said. “We are overwhelmed by the support for Tyler and the wishes for his full and speedy recovery from fans and the baseball community alike. We will provide additional updates as he progresses.”

Rays pitchers Shane McClanahan and Ryan Thompson expressed support for Zombro on Twitter after the incident.

“We are all praying for you Z,” McClanahan wrote.

“NOW is the time to fully utilize the power of prayer,” Thompson said. “Love you Z.”

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