Multiple facial fractures land Royals' Maier on DL

Updated: August 21, 2008, 1:24 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Kansas City Royals outfielder Mitch Maier's right eye was swollen shut and his nose still bleeding Thursday, less than 24 hours after being hit in the face with a pitch.

Mitch Maier

Maier

Center Field
Kansas City Royals

Profile

2008 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
19 0 4 5 .373 .339

The Royals placed Maier on the 15-day disabled list with multiple facial fractures.

Maier was holding an ice bag on his face and watching television in the Royals' clubhouse prior to Thursday's game against the Cleveland Indians. He had a large bandage near his right cheekbone and his nose was stuffed with tissue.

"I don't have any pain," he said. "I still have a bloody nose. I can see out of my eye if I open it, but it feels better with it closed right now."

Maier was hit by a pitch from Cleveland left-hander Zach Jackson in the fifth inning of Kansas City's 8-5 loss. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which revealed the fractures below his right eye.

Jackson threw a pitch up and in to Maier, who had squared around to bunt and could not get out of the way in time. Maier, 26, crumpled to the ground immediately after being hit.

"I haven't seen a replay," he said. "I don't think it hit my helmet. I turned to bunt. It was up and in. I tried to pull back and get out of the way. When I saw the ball, it was about a foot away."

Maier said Jackson called him Wednesday night.

"He said he was sorry," Maier said. "I appreciated the call. He wasn't trying to hit me."

Royals manager Trey Hillman said Indians general manager Mark Shapiro stopped by the clubhouse following Wednesday night's game and manager Eric Wedge called before Thursday's game to ask about Maier's condition.

"He's a tough kid," Hillman said. "Obviously, there was no intent there. It's an unfortunate situation that happens in the game of baseball."

The Royals recalled outfielder Joey Gathright from a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Omaha to take Maier's roster spot.

The Royals open a homestand Friday night. Maier will be examined again after the team returns home.

Maier, called up from Triple-A Omaha on July 24, is batting .339 (19-for-56) with no homers and four RBIs in 19 games.

Gathright has been on the DL with a bruised right shoulder since July 24. He's batting .251 with 21 stolen bases in 82 games.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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