Rockies OF Hawpe released with bruise
DENVER -- Not surprisingly, Brad Hawpe is a little skittish about scampering back into second base these days.
For the second time in two months, the Colorado Rockies outfielder was injured while trying to avoid being tagged out at second on a pickoff play.
Hawpe had a bruise on the back of his neck Tuesday, the result of being hit by San Diego catcher Nick Hundley's throw down to second in a game the night before.
Hawpe said he's still stiff and thinks it might be until Friday in San Francisco before he takes the field again.
However, he could be available to pinch hit.
"Whatever they tell me I'm allowed to do," said Hawpe, who's hitting .328 with two home runs and a team-leading 16 RBIs this season. "I've had tough luck going into second base."
That he has.
In a February spring training game in Arizona, Hawpe dived back into second base to avoid being picked off and had his hand stepped on by a cleat. The wound required four stitches and he had to sit out the World Baseball Classic.
Not wanting to put his hands in harm's way, he decided to go into the bag feet first Monday.
That didn't work out so well, either.
Hundley made a nifty scoop on a ball in the dirt, forcing Hawpe to suddenly scamper back to second. Hundley fired a throw to second baseman David Eckstein to try to pick him off, but Hundley's toss sailed to the shortstop side of the base, striking Hawpe just below the ear flap on his helmet.
Hawpe dropped to the turf, feeling dazed and numb. He said it was similar to a stinger in football after a big hit.
"I was numb through my arms, down my back, through my waist," said Hawpe, whose team stole eight bases in a 12-7 win over San Diego on Monday night. "After I don't know how long -- it felt like a while, probably 30 seconds or something like that -- I started feeling normal again."
Hawpe stayed on the ground as Rockies trainers rushed out to attend to him. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle also ventured onto the field to check on his slugger.
"I didn't stay long," Hurdle said. "He goes, 'What happened? What hit me? Where am I?' I said, 'You know what, I need to go back in the dugout and find out how we're going to get somebody else out here.' The trainers took over from there ... He's a tough guy."
Hawpe was taken from the field in a cart with a brace around his neck and then to a hospital. He went home later that night after a CT scan of his neck and back came back negative.
"I wasn't scared, I just didn't know what happened really," Hawpe said. "I got hit there and was dazed and wasn't sure what was going on. I'm real fortunate -- it could've been worse."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press