Balkovec recovering after getting hit in face by ball at camp

Single-A Tampa manager advised to rest for 5 to 7 days at home

March 23rd, 2022

TAMPA, Fla. -- Rachel Balkovec’s spring debut will be delayed. The Single-A Tampa Tarpons manager is recovering after being hit in the face by a batted ball during a workout on Tuesday afternoon, the Yankees announced on Wednesday.

Balkovec was assisting in a soft-toss hitting drill at the Yankees’ player development complex when a batter mishit the ball, striking the 34-year-old, who is set to become the first woman manager in affiliated professional baseball this season.

According to the Yankees, Balkovec is experiencing swelling near one of her eyes and doctors have advised her to rest for five to seven days, which she is doing at home. Balkovec was not diagnosed with a concussion, the team said.

“All things considered, I feel very fortunate,” Balkovec said in a statement. “The doctors have asked me to be smart about limiting my activities over the next several days, and I plan on following their guidance. As much as I already miss being around the players and staff, I do not anticipate this affecting my role and responsibilities for the regular season.”

The Tarpons’ spring opener is set for Thursday. Tampa will open its regular season on April 8 against the Tigers’ Single-A affiliate in Lakeland, Fla.