Indians pitcher Huff feeling OK

Updated: May 30, 2010, 4:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Even a few hours after he took a line drive off his head, Cleveland Indians pitcher David Huff was cracking jokes and trying to make people laugh.

A day later, he thought he'd be ready to make his next start.

New York's Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI double off the side of Huff's head in the third inning of Saturday's game. The ball bounced into right field and Huff went down and stayed motionless for a while until giving a thumbs up as he was carted off the field.

"Anytime a pitcher gets hit by a line drive, everybody thinks the worst, especially when he's not moving," Huff said Sunday. "I just wanted to give a hand wave or some indication that I was all right."

Huff had more neurological testing done at the ballpark on Sunday, and will continue to be evaluated for post-concussive symptoms, which don't always manifest immediately. So far, he shows no signs of having suffered a concussion.

He said he slept well, had no headaches, and basically almost forgot that he had been hit unless he scratched his head on the wrong side.

Cleveland's medical staff hasn't decided if Huff is fit to take his next turn in the rotation yet, though Huff said he's ready to go.

Rodriguez tried to go to the hospital afterward, but Huff was already back in the Indians' clubhouse, celebrating Cleveland's come-from-behind 13-11 win.

Instead, Rodriguez gave Huff a call.

"It was a good conversation," Huff said. "I was trying to get him to laugh because I know he was pretty struck by that as far as emotionally."

It was a scary scene. Rodriguez looked stricken, crouching behind the mound as medical staff attended to the fallen pitcher.

Rodriguez acknowledged his fears as he saw the ball strike Huff. "There are 55,000 people there but only one knows how hard you hit it," he said. "That one was really flush. I literally saw the ball going to his head in slow motion. It sounded like it hit a brick wall."

While Rodriguez could only watch as the ball traveled towards Huff's head, the pitcher said Sunday that he "never saw it coming."

"I remember everything," Huff said. "It was a changeup down and away and A-Rod hit it right back up at me. If I had seen it I probably would have caught it. And honestly, I didn't feel a thing. I knew the side of my head hurt, but it wasn't that bad."

Huff said he knew not to move because he may have had a serious head or neck injury. However, he never lost consciousness and told trainers who rushed out to the mound that he wanted them to let his family know he was OK.

"The first thing I told [Indians assistant trainer Rick Jameyson] was, this is my brother's number, call him, he's probably freaking out," Huff said. "It was pretty funny because I actually corrected myself. I forgot to give him the area code."

"He was conscious, he was alert, he wanted to stand up, but we encouraged him to remain on the ground and motionless until we could evaluate," Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said.

Huff's family -- his father, Tom, his mother, Pat, and his brother, Tim -- had made the trip from California to see him pitch, and joined him at the hospital.

"It was probably better that they were here rather than 2,000 miles away," Huff said. "The Yankees did everything to make sure they got up to me at the hospital right away."

Soloff pointed out that the ball going so far after hitting Huff was a good sign, meaning less energy was absorbed by Huff's skull.

"If the ball hits the head and just plops down, it usually means the skull has absorbed most of the blow," Soloff said.

The struggling Indians, who lost star center fielder Grady Sizemore for at least six to eight weeks, and have shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL, too, certainly don't need more injuries.

Cleveland fell behind 10-4 at one point Saturday, but came back against the Yankees' bullpen. Huff watched from the hospital.

"It's funny because we took a lead and we were just about to leave -- and you know baseball, guys are superstitious. Maybe I should stay here if we're going to keep scoring runs."

ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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