GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo had a visible welt on his left jawline, but he knew things could be much worse. Arroyo was forced to leave his start in the second inning on Saturday's tie with the Rangers, after he was hit on the side of his face
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo had a visible welt on his left jawline, but he knew things could be much worse. Arroyo was forced to leave his start in the second inning on Saturday's tie with the Rangers, after he was hit on the side of his face by a throw from catcher Devin Mesoraco.
There were two outs in the inning as Andy Ibanez was batting with two strikes when Rangers baserunner Drew Robinson attempted to steal second base. Arroyo ducked as Mesoraco stayed in the crouch and made a low throw, but he could not get out of the way.
"I threw a sweepy breaking ball, it took Devin outside the box, so I heard the delayed steal and he was going to throw from his knees," Arroyo said. "For some reason, I thought I was totally clear of him and it looked like he was going to be throwing from a totally different angle. It almost looked like he changed his mind on the direction he wanted to throw the ball last minute. I didn't see where the ball was going and I just had a feeling something strange had happened. So I just kind of turned my head sideways."
"I got caught down on the knee. It was kind of outside," Mesoraco said. "I don't know, I cut myself off and hit Bronson in the face."
After being struck, Arroyo spent several moments walking toward the outfield and was checked out by head trainer Steve Baumann and manager Bryan Price.
"It hit me half-jaw, half-neck," Arroyo said. "Just a pretty good stinger. It's one of those you have to walk off. It's like someone gave you a good left hook."
The decision was made to pull the 40-year-old right-hander from the game.
"I was feeling fine after about five minutes," Arroyo said. "I was begging Steve-O [Baumann] to leave me in the game, but it's Spring Training. They weren't going to go for it."
Alejandro Chacin finished the at-bat and struck out Ibanez. Arroyo was able to jog off the field and to the clubhouse in right field following the top of the second inning. After a quick exam, it was determined Arroyo did not need the concussion protocol, and he went back to the Reds complex to long toss with 20 more throws.
"I was 39 pitches deep, 45 and three innings would have been a good outing," Arroyo said. "I was probably going to get cut short in the third inning anyway. You know, not terrible. But it would have been nice to finish the inning. I told them to let me just get one last hitter and get out of here. There's plenty of time to still get built up."
Trying to make the club as a non-roster invitee following two years out of the big leagues, Arroyo allowed two earned runs and two hits over 1 2/3 innings with one walk and two strikeouts in his second spring start. Joey Gallo hit a two-out, two-run homer to right field in the first inning.
"I feel bad," Mesoraco said. "I don't think anybody wants Bronson to make the team more than me. He didn't get a chance to go out there and show and get his innings in. I hope he's all right and I think things are fine."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.