Maryvale, ARIZ -- A beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball at Maryvale Baseball Park turned somber in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brewers outfielder Rymer Liriano was struck in the head by a pitch from the Dodgers' Matt West. Liriano dropped to the ground immediately and was writhing in pain as training staff and Brewers coaches rushed onto the field to assist him. He was carted off the field and back to the training room, and from there he was taken to a local hospital.
"We couldn't really see it, I know they said his nose was gushing blood and it didn't stop when he came [in the training room]," Brewers infielder Jake Elmore said.
Liriano is attended to by Maryvale medical staff. He's on his back now. Appeared to have been hit near the left eye. pic.twitter.com/N4rWq2C4QH— travis sarandos (@travis_mke) March 20, 2016
Liriano, who was acquired in a trade with San Diego this offseason after the Padres DFA'd the 24-year-old a few days earlier, is fighting for a spot on the Brewers Opening Day roster. He is out of options, so if he needs to be sent to the minors the Brewers would need to expose him to waivers.
Without speculating as to the seriousness of the injury, it would certainly not be a surprise if Liriano were to miss some significant time. Replays showed that the ball appeared to miss his helmet, striking him directly below the left eye. Elmore said that the left size of his face had swollen to nearly the size of a softball.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell was shaken after the game talking about Liriano's injury, saying that a situation like this one puts a damper on the day. "I don't know [the severity of the injury]. He's conscious but you know, it's serious," Counsell said. "He's ... I don't know. He got hit in the head. I couldn't give you many details.
"He wasn't able to, he wasn't talking really much. He wasn't speaking much."
Pitcher Jimmy Nelson, who started the game for Milwaukee, said that Liriano was in their thoughts. "First of all, I'll say that we're all praying for him, that it ends up being not too severe. It is tough, and kind of makes you appreciate every day."
Nelson has a unique perspective on the situation. His season ended last year when he was struck by a batted ball in the second inning of his start on September 17.
"Stuff like that, when it's that quick, it can be a matter of inches between something that's severe and not that severe. Hopefully this isn't bad, because you know, he's one of our guys and we want him back in here as soon as we can," Nelson said.
The game was delayed for about 15 minutes as medical staff attended to Liriano, strapped him to an immobilization board and carted him to the training room.
"I think nobody really wants to go back out and play, but you kind of have to do it," infielder Colin Walsh said. "It's just a long wait for word to see exactly what happened and how serious it is."
We will update this story as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: The Brewers updated the situation via Twitter
Rymer Liriano suffered multiple facial fractures during today's game and will remain in the hospital for further testing and observation.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 21, 2016