Lile carted off with back injury after scary flip over OF wall

Nats' No. 6 prospect, who was able to move his legs and feet, to undergo CT scan

March 2nd, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A scary situation unfolded Saturday afternoon, as Nationals outfielder Daylen Lile was carted off the field in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Nats' 4-2 loss to the Red Sox after going head-over-heels into Boston's bullpen attempting to rob a home run.

Immediately following the catch attempt, Red Sox pitchers and staff waved for medical help in an urgent manner.

The game was stopped for some time before Lile was taken off on a stretcher. He gave a thumbs up on the way out.

Manager Dave Martinez said after the game that Lile -- ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Nationals' No. 6 prospect -- was taken to a local medical facility to have a CT scan performed, and that he was able to move his legs/feet. Martinez reported Lile’s injury occurred in his lower back.

“He hit pretty hard,” Martinez said. “When we left him, he was moving his feet and his legs. Hopefully everything comes back negative. We’re going to pray for him and hope that he’s good.”

Lile had just entered the game in right field and gave an above-and-beyond effort to try and bring in the catch on Tyler Miller's home run to lead off the inning.

“You see somebody go over the wall like that, and you can’t see them get up, and everybody in the bullpen [starts] calling for you, it’s like, ‘Oh no,’” Martinez said. “You just hope that he didn't hit his head, or his neck. All these things are going through your mind running out there. He was lying still when we got there.

“The last three innings were not fun. You never want to see that. I know Daylen. That’s the way he plays the game. I actually thought for a second he caught it. He plays the game hard. He plays the game the right way.”

Martinez gave praise to the Red Sox staff and doctors for the response to the situation.

“The Red Sox did a great job,” Martinez said. “The doctor -- everyone. I want to thank them, too.”

Lile, 21, made the trip to Fort Myers as an extra Minor League player. The Louisville native was drafted by the Nationals in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft.

Martinez said he spoke with the umpire about calling the game then and there, but that he knew “in his heart” Lile was going to be OK.

“I kept telling myself, 'It’s going to be OK,'” Martinez said. “I’d rather the boys not think about it and just go out and finish the game.”