Six weeks after suffering multiple facial fractures after being hit by a pitch, Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong took the first step towards returning.
The 38-year-old pitcher pitched five innings Sunday in a rehab start for the Altoona Curve, the Pirates' Double-A affiliate.
Vogelsong gave up six hits, three earned runs, didn't walk anybody and struck out one batter. He didn't factor into the decision.
The former Giants pitcher was hit by a 92 mile per hour fastball from Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles on May 23. He underwent surgery on June 2 to repair multiple facial fractures.
On June 9, Vogelsong spoke to reporters about his injury.
“All things considered, I feel really good,” Vogelsong told reporters in June. “I feel, honestly, pretty normal. I remember getting hit. I remember laying on the field. I remember everything I said. I remember telling myself that I had to stand up, because I knew my son [Ryder] was in the play room, and my wife [Nicole] and her family were in the stands. I remember telling myself, ‘You’ve got to get up. You’ve got to stand up.’ Especially for my son, not being able to talk to me right away, so he’d know I was OK. But I remember all of it.”
Vogelsong had fractures to the nasal bone, the inferior border of his orbit and the orbital floor repaired by Dr. Randall Beatty.
“I don’t know if I blinked at the wrong time,” Vogelsong said, “or if it was something with the way the sky was that day — it was a little hazy — but I never saw the ball until right before it hit me in the eye. It felt like my eye had exploded or detached.”