Frightening Moment For Liriano

PHOENIXThe Brewers had high hopes for outfielder Rymer Liriano fulfilling his potential, but his chances of making the Opening Day roster ended in frightening fashion.

With less than two weeks remaining in spring camp, Liriano was hit in the face by a pitch from Dodgers righthander Matt West, suffering multiple facial fractures. Liriano had surgery a week later and was facing the possibility of a long road to recovery.

Big league manager Craig Counsell knew all too well what Liriano was experiencing. While playing for the Marlins in 1998, Counsell was hit in the face by a pitch and had a broken jaw that sidelined him for the remaining two months of that season.

“I think every injury has physical and mental hurdles,” Counsell said. “He’ll have a physical hurdle that will take time. Mentally, it’s (different for each) individual.”

The Brewers acquired the 24-year-old Liriano from the Padres in late January for lefthander Trevor Seidenberger. He played in 38 games with the Padres in 2014 but spent all of last season at Triple-A El Paso and was designated for assignment in the offseason.

Liriano went just 4-for-28 (.143) in camp at the time of his injury, but he had a chance to stick because he is out of minor league options. Now that decision is delayed with Liriano on the 60-day disabled list.

“(That day) was a really scary day for Rymer,” Counsell said. “You’re not sure when (he’ll be ready to play).”

Liriano signed with San Diego out of the Dominican Republic in 2007.

Counsell said injuries such as the one to Liriano should make Major League Baseball think about making helmets with face guards, such as the one worn by the Cubs’ Jason Heyward, available to all players, not just those already hit in the face.

“Why not?” he asked. “I don’t think Jason Heyward has had any problem seeing the baseball wearing that helmet.”


• Righthander Zack Jones, a Rule 5 draft pick from the Twins, opened the season on the DL with a shoulder strain, delaying the decision whether to keep him.

• Righthander Yhonathan Barrios, 24, who got his foot in the door last September with five scoreless relief outings, was shut down with a serious shoulder injury that had him facing possible surgery.

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