Yarbrough to IL with fractures after being hit in face by liner

May 8th, 2023

KANSAS CITY -- In a scary moment at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday afternoon, Royals starter was hit in the face by a 106.2 mph comebacker off the bat of A’s first baseman Ryan Noda.

Yarbrough was putting the final touches on an otherwise excellent start with one out in the sixth inning Sunday when he threw a 3-2 sinker to Noda, who made solid contact right back to Yarbrough. Yarbrough was finishing his delivery and was struck in the face, collapsing to the ground. The ball ricocheted off Yarbrough to catcher , who threw to first for the out.

The ball hit Yarbrough above the left temple and immediately caused swelling. Royals manager Matt Quatraro, trainers and the entire infield quickly huddled around Yarbrough, who was able to get to his knees. The Royals lefty walked off the field with assistance from trainers while holding a towel to his face.

Quatraro said Sunday that Yarbrough was alert and at the hospital postgame getting further testing done. On Monday, the team placed Yarbrough on the 15-day injured list with head fractures and called up from Triple-A Omaha.

“It was scary,” Quatraro said. “The dugout went silent. Your heart drops there. Got a pit in your stomach. I can’t think of a worse thing to see on the field. Luckily, when we got out there, he was talking and aware of what was going on and what had happened. But he was swollen immediately. There was some blood. You just didn’t know exactly where it was coming from.”

Carlos Hernández took over on the mound and got the final out of the inning by striking out A’s left fielder Brent Rooker. When Perez reached first base in the eighth inning, Noda asked how Yarbrough was doing and if he could get Yarbrough’s number after the game to check in on him.

“Super scary,” Perez said. “I don’t like to see that. I don’t like to be part of that. We hope he’s doing good, nothing bad.”

Yarbrough earned the win on Sunday after allowing one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings in Kansas City's 5-1 win. It was his first win of the season and first as a Royal after signing a one-year contract with them this offseason.

“That was what I’m used to seeing a lot out of him,” Quatraro said of Yarbrough, who pitched for the Rays in the Majors from 2018-22 while Quatraro was their third-base coach and later, their bench coach in that span.

“Vintage. Lot of strikes, lot of soft contact. You see all the weak popups. Frustrating guys with being able to spin the ball and then sneaking a fastball in [good] locations. That’s really him in a nutshell, there.”