By Bill Ballew
August 11, 2002
ASHEVILLE, N.C.–Colorado Rockies first-round pick Jeff Francis spent Friday night at Mission St. Joseph’s Health System hospital after being struck on the left side of the head by a batted ball during a game between the Class A Asheville Tourists and the Kannapolis Intimidators.
Francis, the ninth overall pick out of the University of British Columbia, was in the dugout when a foul ball off the bat of Kannapolis’ Mike Spidale struck him near the left temple, knocking him down to the concrete dugout floor. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, Francis was woozy and helped out of the dugout to be taken to the hospital. Doctors determined he has a mild concussion and a facial cut. He stayed overnight for observation but was released Saturday morning.
The injury came one night after Francis’ best performance as a Tourist. In his fourth start, he went six scoreless innings and allowed two hits and one walk while striking out four against Hickory. The Tourists went on to lose the game 4-2, but Francis, who doesn’t have a decision with Asheville, lowered his ERA to 1.80.
The Canadian lefty is tentatively scheduled to pitch against Wednesday, Aug. 14.