Oswalt says he's fine, a day after being hit in neck with line drive

Oswalt
Oswalt
Posted: March 25, 2011

CLEARWATER, Fla. - One day after a scary moment in which a Manny Ramirez line drive struck him just below the right ear, Phillies righthander Roy Oswalt said the only lasting effect is some swelling in his neck.

Oswalt, who was hit by the ball in the fourth inning of the Phillies' 4-1 loss to the Rays on Wednesday, said he does not expect to miss his final spring training start, meaning he should be ready for his regular-season debut against his former team, the Astros, on April 3.

Oswalt knows the outcome could have been a lot worse. From 2003 through 2005, he was in Houston organization with Mike Coolbaugh, who died in 2007 at age 35 after being hit with a foul ball while standing in the first-base coach's box in a minor league game. Oswalt and Coolbaugh, the Tulsa Drillers' hitting coach at the time, used to play cards in spring training.

"I knew him pretty well," Oswalt said. "When I first got hit, you kind of ask yourself, 'Did you just really get hit right there?' I remember I was laying on the ground thinking, 'Did I just get hit in the head?'

"It kind of surprises you more than anything. Then you don't really know what to do. You don't know if you need to get up real quick or whatever, so I just stayed down and asked [athletic trainer Mark Andersen], 'Can I get up?' He just made me stay down for a while longer."

After about a minute of lying on his back, concerned teammates and coaches hovered over him, Oswalt popped up with a grin and walked off the field under his own power. He went to a local hospital, where X-rays and a CT scan came back negative.

- David Murphy

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