Tanner Houck is doing much better these days, all things considered.
Any time a ballplayer takes a ball directly off his face at high velocity is a major concern, for the guy’s health as a human, let alone his baseball future. Red Sox fans need not be reminded of Tony Conigliaro again. Or Bryce Florie.
So, needless to say, when Houck took a line drive off his cheek, it was a little frightening. But the latest report on his status sounds promising.
The Baseball Hour With Tony Mazz // Jared Carrabis Joins The Show
(Click here to subscribe to The Baseball Hour with Tony Mazz.)
That’s according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, who reported that Houck underwent surgery to repair a fracture in the area connecting his right eye and cheekbone. There’s still no clear timetable for his return, but Red Sox Manager Alex Cora told reporters that Houck will rest for a week then be re-evaluated to map out his return plan (via Mac Cerullo of the Boston Herald).
For shits n’ giggles, we’ll give you the outrageous amount of medical jargon that Speier’s source fed him: Houck underwent an “open reduction and internal fixation” to repair a fracture to his orbito-zygomaticomaxillary complex. The procedure describes putting pieces of broken bone back together using plates and screws. So you can see why I cleaned that up for you. He had face surgery.
Scary situation in Boston as Tanner Houck gets hit in the face.— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken2) June 17, 2023
Prayers for him and hoping everything is alright. pic.twitter.com/nva2QBwLgk
Cora also said he thinks Houck suffered a slight concussion when he was hit with the line drive in the Red Sox’ June 16 game against the New York Yankees. But Cora added that Houck is “good” now, on that front. So there’s another obvious concern with an injury like this, but Houck seems to have avoided the worst.
Houck had pitched pretty well just prior to the injury, making it that much more unfortunate. His last two starts were both against the Yankees, with a combined 10 innings and only three runs allowed, to go with eight strikeouts and only two walks.