Segura, Ahmed hit in head by Bucs' Caminero

Pittsburgh reliever ejected; D-backs' second baseman hospitalized

May 25th, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Arquimedes Caminero hit two D-backs players in the head during his 1 2/3 innings of relief in Tuesday night's 12-1 Pittsburgh victory, sending second baseman Jean Segura to a local hospital with concussion symptoms and leaving the indentation of a baseball seam on the chin of shortstop Nick Ahmed.

It also left D-backs manager Chip Hale questioning whether Caminero belonged in the big leagues.

"You know what, when guys get hit in the head and they get hit in the face, there's no place for that in the game," Hale said. "And if the guy is not trying to do it, then he shouldn't be here at this level. If you can't have enough control to not hit people up there, it's just not acceptable. Especially twice in one game."

Caminero hit Segura in the side of the head with a 96-mph fastball with one out in the seventh inning.

Segura lay face down on the ground briefly while being attended to by assistant athletic trainer Ryan DiPanfilo. He managed to walk off the field under his own power, but once he got into the training room he began showing signs of having a concussion and he was taken to a nearby hospital for tests.

D-backs reliever Evan Marshall hit Pirates third baseman David Freese in the shoulder with a pitch in the bottom half of the inning and home-plate umpire Larry Vanover issued warnings to both teams.

In the top of the eighth with two outs and runners on first and third, Caminero hit Ahmed in the chin with a split-finger fastball.

Ahmed went to the ground briefly and then walked to first base. He tried to talk his way into staying in the game, but Hale did not want to take any chances. Since both teams had been warned, Caminero and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle were ejected.

"He was ready to stay in the game, but there was no reason for that," Hale said. "I've seen guys before do that and then they just pass out right on the field."

Control has been an issue for Caminero throughout his career. Acquired from the Marlins before the 2015 season, Caminero was a valuable part of the Pittsburgh bullpen last year despite walking 3.5 batters per nine innings.

This year, the progress he seemed to make last year has disappeared as his ERA sits at 5.19 and he has walked 13 and hit three batters while striking out 14 in 17 1/3 innings.

"We've continued to have conversations and talk with him about trying to keep it simple, trying to keep the work positive, trying to find opportunities," Hurdle said of Caminero. "He was able to throw up the good, long season for us that he did last year. We're doing everything we can to try to slow this thing down and get it back in the right lane, and it's been challenging."

Caminero left the clubhouse without speaking with reporters, Segura was not available for comment and Ahmed declined to speak until Wednesday.

The hit by pitches came one day after the Pirates watched their pitcher Ryan Vogelsong get hit in the left eye by a pitch from the Rockies Jordan Lyles. Vogelsong remains at Allegheny General Hospital undergoing observation.

Hurdle said Caminero was definitely not trying to hit either Segura or Ahmed.

"That's the last thing he wants to do," Hurdle said.

D-backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa was known during his managing career for criticizing pitchers for throwing up and in when they have control issues.

"I don't believe it was intentional," La Russa said of the hit by pitches Tuesday. "The general rule, whether it's your pitcher or their pitcher, is if your command is shaky then you make an extra special point not to get the ball up. I was listening to the [Pirates'] broadcast and they were talking about his command, he's got command issues. So the pitcher has to understand if he's going to make a mistake [he's got] to bounce it."