Walker needs surgery after getting hit in face

Maeda pitch leaves D-backs first baseman with sinus fracture

September 26th, 2018

PHOENIX -- D-backs first baseman 's season is over after he suffered a sinus fracture when he was hit in the face by a fastball from Dodgers right-hander on Monday night.

"Terrible news," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Terrible news for him because of the path that he was on. We were hoping to get him some more at-bats and maybe get him a start in left field just to expose him once again to that spot. Just an unfortunate part of the game, and it's going to end his season."

Walker will undergo surgery on Wednesday and have his jaw wired shut for a week. He'll also be limited to a liquid diet for a month.

Tests performed on Walker showed that he did not suffer a concussion.

"Could have been way worse," Walker said. "My brain is good, my teeth are good, my eyes are good. Seems like just the jaw right now. I didn't lose consciousness. Obviously it went really fast for me at the plate, but I guess I went to all fours, I didn't go limp, which is a good sign. So, good so far."

Maeda was visibly shaken after hitting Walker.

"I was trying to be cautious and put too much on that pitch, which ended up hitting him in the face," Maeda said. "I feel very sorry about it, and for me personally, it was a bad hit by pitch. I have never hit someone in the face or near the face in my career. Honestly, I was not able to recover. I was hesitant to throw inside high against the next batter. I waved off those balls and was thinking of throwing with more command of the ball."

Walker said Maeda reached out to him via the D-backs' staff and said he would like to meet to apologize in person.

"That's fine," Walker said. "I understand. It's a crappy situation on both ends -- his end, my end. It's an ugly part of the game."

Walker is a first baseman by trade, so the D-backs wanted to give him some reps in left field because there's not a lot of at-bats to be had at first base with on the roster.

"Knowing that he's going to be a piece of this puzzle in the future, the more places that he can play I think is going to enhance his opportunity to get at-bats," Lovullo said.

This is not the first time Walker has been hit by a Dodgers pitcher. He was struck in the helmet by a fastball during the National League Division Series last year.

It was because of that beaning that he chose to wear a face guard on his helmet this year. Maeda's pitch looked like it hit that guard before striking Walker's face, which may have prevented further damage.

"It was an extremely close call," Walker said of getting hit by Darvish. "But I felt like it was a sign. I was like, 'Hey, I need to wear this.' Who knows? It seems like it helped."