Detroit — As painful and terrifying as the incident was, Jeff Ferrell’s overriding feeling Tuesday was gratitude.
“I’m very lucky,” he said. “If it was a couple of inches over my face, it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Ferrell, the Tigers’ reliever, was struck behind his right ear by line drive that left the bat of A’s Ryon Healy at 102.6 mph Monday night.
Dazed, and with the ball caroming past first base and down toward the tarp, Ferrell ran a few steps toward the Tigers’ dugout before doubling over.
Amazingly, he remained on his feet and never lost consciousness.
“I don’t really remember that,” Ferrell said. “I saw the video and that’s how I know I ran toward the dugout. I knew what was going on, it was just a little foggy at that point. Once I stopped and bent over, I kind of gathered my thoughts.”
Ferrell, who remains in concussion protocol, was sent to a nearby hospital for a CT scan Monday night. It came back negative; no skull fracture.
“There was a little bleeding under the skull but not on my brain,” Ferrell said. “That was a good sign.”
Ferrell didn’t want to look at the video of the play. But he could hardly miss it as he was scrolling through all his messages on his phone, and on Twitter.
“I didn’t even press play, it was already playing,” he said. “So I just went ahead and watched it. It wasn’t pretty.”
Ferrell was still groggy Tuesday and, though the swelling on the right side of his skull had gone down considerably, the area was still sore.
“It was painful, but driving to get the CT scan after, I was still in shock,” he said. “Once that calmed down last night, just the pounding — it was not fun. But it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Ferrell will have to clear concussion protocol to return to the mound. As for whether he will pitch again this season, he said he wasn’t sure.
“I haven’t heard anything,” he said. “We’re waiting for the doctors to come in today and see what they say. They read the CT scan and said it looks fine. Just waiting to see what they will say.”
Ferrell, 26-year-old rookie from Charlotte, N.C., and a 26th round draft pick in 2010, was understandably anxious about returning to the mound.
“I haven’t even thought about it that much,” he said. “I’m sure the next time I do get out there, it’s going to be a little tough — a little different. But when that time comes, I will be ready for it. But right now, I’m not thinking about it too much.”
Healy was shook up afterward and sent a text message to Ferrell.
“Yeah, he told me he was praying for me,” Ferrell said. “That meant a lot.”
No 9 for Romine at Comerica
Manager Brad Ausmus said before the game Tuesday that Andrew Romine playing all nine positions in one game will not happen during this final homestand at Comerica Park.
“It’s not going to happen here,” he said. “I don’t want it to be a sideshow.”
Ausmus, who played in the last game a Tigers’ player played all nine positions (Shane Halter in 2000), said he would be more comfortable doing it on the final day of the season in Minnesota, if the game had no bearing on the playoff races.
“You are kind of putting the need to play a guy nine positions ahead of trying to win the game,” Ausmus said. “But we will revisit it again and see where the Twins are in the last series.”
Around the horn
Jordan Zimmermann, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 2, will return to the rotation on Thursday. He received a nerve-blocking injection to lessen the stiffness in his neck. Ausmus hasn’t set the rotation beyond Thursday for the Twins series.