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Rays' Pitcher Alex Cobb Hit In Head By Line Drive, Suffers Concussion [VIDEO]

Rays' Pitcher Alex Cobb Hit in Head by Line Drive, Suffers Concussion [VIDEO]
Alex Cobb was hit in the right ear when Kansas City Royals Eric Hosmer hit a line drive clocking in at 102 mph. Wikimedia Commons

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, Alex Cobb, was rocked in the right ear during Saturday afternoon's game after Kansas City Royal's Eric Hosmer hit a line drive straight toward his head, landing Cobb in the hospital with a concussion.

Hosmer's line drive clocked in at 102.4 mph, knocking Cobb in the right ear, causing him to fall to the ground in pain. He could be seen kicking his legs while being treated on the mound, and then he was put on a stretcher and taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., for examination. The Rays announced that he was conscious while on the stretcher, and that all tests were normal, according to ABC News.

"He seemed pretty normal, so that was good," David Price, another pitcher for the Rays, told ABC after visiting Cobb in the hospital. "Our hearts are with him. He told me that (head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) was making him really mad on the field because he wouldn't let him stand up, so it was good that he wanted to be able to stand up. He knew where he was. It's amazing that he is in the condition I feel like he is in right now."

Both teams were shaken by the loud sound of the ball hitting Cobb in the skull.

"I think everybody heard it," Matt Joyce, the Ray's right fielder, said. "The loudest and worst ball hitting somebody I've ever seen. Obviously the same happened with Happ here and that was terrifying too. But man, that one caught him square."

The incident raises many concerns regarding pitcher safety. Joyce was referring to Toronto Blue Jays pitcher, J.A. Happ, who was hit on the head by a line drive from the Ray's Desmond Jennings in the same stadium last month, according to Forbes.

Major League Baseball is trying to figure out the best steps to address this issue. They're looking into a range of safety measures, including padded caps, helmets, and visors. However, the problem, is that a pitcher being hit in the head because of a line drive is rare.

It's more likely that a pitcher will die in a car crash than get hit by a line drive in the head. About one in 84 will die in a car crash compared to one in about 105 pitchers who will get hit in the head by a line drive during their careers.

Also, about one in 300,000 pitches is hit back toward a pitcher's head, meaning it only happens about two or three times per year in the major leagues.

The range of injuries varies too, and protective gear, such as helmets, might not always help. In 2008, San Diego Padres' pitcher, Chris Young, suffered a broken nose from a line drive. During last year's World Series, Detroit Tigers pitcher, Doug Fister, was hit in the temple and he didn't even suffer a concussion.

But while it is rare, a serious injury can occur. Last September, Arizona Diamondbacks' pitcher Brandon McCarthy suffered epidural hemorrhaging, a brain contusion, and a skull fracture. He received emergency surgery that same night, and left the hospital six days later. Two weeks ago he was at a restaurant with his wife, when he suffered a seizure related to the injury, according to USA Today.

concussion causes mostly temporary effects, such as headache, problems with concentration, memory, judgment, balance, and coordination. Brain contusions and epidural hemorrhages are much more life threatening, as they involve bruising and bleeding of blood vessels in the brain, and can cause a build-up of pressure — and possible forming of blood clots — on the brain.

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