Phillies prospect Rosenberg back after injury

RON CORTES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHY
RON CORTES/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHY
Posted: May 30, 2014

IT IS something that every pitcher knows about, but never wants to experience. It has ended numerous careers, and altered the path of countless others. The line drive right back up the middle can turn a professional pitcher's major league dreams into a nightmare in the blink of an eye.

For Lehigh Valley pitcher B.J. Rosenberg, the reality of the comebacker was all too real on the night of April 28. The 2-1 pitch to Pawtucket's Brandon Snyder was lined right back at him in the 11th inning and hit the side of his head before he could even make a feasible attempt to avoid the ball. Before he knew what was happening, he was on the ground, his teammates and team trainer around him.

"I kind of remember seeing a white flash a little bit, then I was on the ground," Rosenberg said. "You see guys on TV get hit in the head and stuff like that. It was one of those things that you never picture yourself in that situation."

Luckily for Rosenberg, the aftermath was not as bad as it could have been. Unlike the cases of fellow pitchers J.A. Happ and Aroldis Chapman, who had to be taken off the field on stretchers after they were hit, Rosenberg walked off under his own power. He felt fine until the next day, and he was put on the disabled list with a concussion.

"It was extremely scary," Rosenberg said. "Luckily I'm OK. It was definitely scary. It could have been a lot worse than it was, but I am thankful that everything is OK."

Rosenberg has made his way off the DL and back to the IronPigs' roster about a month after the incident. The time off was not what the 28-year-old reliever would describe as fun, since he does not like to sit still.

"It hasn't been good not being able to contribute and sitting around and not being able to do anything," Rosenberg said.

He finally got back on the diamond Tuesday evening against the visiting Norfolk Tides. He was put in the game in the sixth inning, and gave up the only earned run in the IronPigs' 4-1 win. He threw 13 of his 24 pitches for strikes, giving up a two-out home run to Johnny Monell.

While Rosenberg is happy to be off the DL, Lehigh Valley is not where he wants to stay this season. He started the year with the Phillies and and appeared in eight games. He had an ERA of 7.11 before being sent down to make room for Cole Hamels.

Rosenberg has appeared in three games for Lehigh Valley, with a 7.36 ERA.

"I am working on my stuff still," Rosenberg said. "More fastball location and command with my pitches. I am trying to work on a little bit of a cutter. More than that, I am trying to have better command and be more consistent. Hopefully I'll get back up there sooner than later."

Until that time, he will be with the IronPigs trying to perfect his craft. He also knows that all it takes is one line drive to end not only his chances of getting back to Philadelphia, but his career. The thought is in the back of his mind, but it is not stopping him from chasing his dream.

"It is a part of the game," Rosenberg said. "A hitter getting hit or balls coming back at you, the threat has always been there. Maybe in the back of your mind, since it happened, you think it might happen again. It is part of the game. I am trying not to think about that happening, but it is what it is."

Prospect Park

Catching up with five notable Phillies farmhands:

1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lakewood: Crawford is having an outstanding May, hitting .400 this month. He could get a call-up to Clearwater soon. Stats: .341, 15 RBI, 9 SB

2. Maikel Franco, 3B, Lehigh Valley: There has been much speculation about a potential call-up, but the Phillies say he’s not ready yet. Stats: .238, 4 HR, 20 RBI

3. Roman Quinn, SS, Clearwater: Quinn (Achilles’) is finally off the disabled list, but still finding his groove at the plate. Stats: .207, 0 RBI, 3 SB, 7 games

4. Carlos Tocci, CF, Lakewood: Tocci is playing at a high level defensively, but waiting for the bat to catch up. Stats: .230, 13 RBI, 1 SB

5. Ethan Martin, P, Lehigh Valley: Martin (shoulder) has made his way off the DL, and is looking to rejoin the Phillies as soon as possible. Stats: 1.86 ERA, 7 appearances

On Twitter: @AndrewJAlbert01

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