Rangers’ Calhoun suffers broken jaw after being hit by fastball

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LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – Texas Rangers outfielder Willie
Calhoun suffered a fractured jaw Sunday after being hit in the mouth by a 95-
mph fastball during a Major League Baseball pre-season game.

The 25-year-old American was batting in the bottom of the first inning
against the Los Angeles Dodgers in suburban Phoenix when he was hit on the
right side of his mouth with a pitch thrown by 23-year-old Mexican left-
hander Julio Urias.

Calhoun fell to the ground instantly on his back and stayed down for about
10 minutes as Rangers trainer Matt Lucero treated him before he was driven
off the field in an equipment cart.

Calhoun, who did not lose consciousness, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital
in Phoenix for further examination and treatment.

The Rangers, who defeated the Dodgers 9-8, announced after the game that a
CT scan and examination revealed a fractured jaw and further evaluation is
expected on Monday.

“I felt so bad for him because he wasn’t saying anything and you could tell
he was hurting,” said Calhoun’s Texas teammate Joey Gallo in a posting on the
MLB website.

“It’s tough because I’m really close with Willie. He’s one of my best
friends, so to see that happen and him go down like that, it was really
tough. I just tried to be there for him and make sure he knew we were all
around him and trying to help him and just praying that he’s OK.

“It was tough to play after that.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward drove to the hospital to be with Calhoun,
leaving bench coach Don Wakamatsu to guide Texas for the remainder of the
game.

Calhoun was taken by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB Draft
and was among the players traded to Texas in 2017 in a deal that brought
Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish to the Dodgers.

– ‘I kept praying for him’-

Urias, who asked Rangers players for Calhoun’s phone number and was given
it, was upset at the incident, having been a prior teammate of Calhoun on the
Dodgers’ top development team.

“We’ve known each other since we were in the minor leagues together,” Ur¡as
said. “He was always one of the teammates I had a good relationship with.

“In the second inning, I really had a hard time and I didn’t feel like
myself out there. I’ve never been in a situation like that. It was really
hard. I just really didn’t feel like it was me out there.

“I kept praying for him. He was in my thoughts.”

Calhourn batted .269 with 21 home runs and 48 runs batted in over 83 games
for the Rangers last season after hitting two homers and driving in 11 runs
over 35 games for Texas in 2018, when he went .222 at the plate.

The Rangers had Calhoun slotted into the starting leftfielder role with a
chance to become a regular starter for the first time in his career, but he
might be looking at a lengthy absence now.

“It’s never good, especially where he was with as a player, all the hard
work he has put in, especially the past few years,” Rangers shortstop Elvis
Andrus said. “To have that happen, it’s a big setback for the team. But it’s
a scary moment, whether it’s your teammate or the other team.”