Justin Duchscherer’s return to the A’s almost came to an abrupt halt as the veteran right-hander was hit by a comebacker from Max Stassi midway through his session of throwing to live hitters at Municipal Park.
On the pitch, Stassi smoked a sinker back up the middle that was headed straight for Duchscherer’s head. He got his glove up just in time, and the ball ricocheted off the bottom part of his left hand and the top of his glove and hit his right shoulder. Duchscherer went down in a heap, but got up quickly and retreated to the dugout.
With several people looking on in dead silence, it became appearent that Duchscherer was more rattled than anything. He took a few sips of water and was soon smiling. The pitch happened to be the last of the first simulated inning (15 pitches). He returned five minutes later to throw 15 more pitches and didn’t feel pain in his back or elbow.
“He hits that rocket at me and I’m like, ‘Oh, my God’ and I fell down to get out of the way and then I knew done, so I just had to gather my thoughts and come sit down,” Duchscherer said. “And wipe the poop out of pants.”
It was the first time that Duchscherer had gone against live hitting. He had a procedure done late last month to relieve pain in his lower back and threw a side session earlier this week, and reported no problems.
Duchscherer will see how he feels tomorrow, but is optimistic that he’ll be able to throw in a game in three or four days.