The Mariners’ top pick of the 2013 draft – DJ Peterson – was struck in the face by a pitch tonight and was taken off the field on a cart and to a local hospital via ambulance in the third inning of Class-A Clinton’s 8-5 loss to Wisconsin.
According to Clinton’s radio play-by-play man and director of media relations, Chad Seely, Peterson was hit with a fastball on a 0-1 count from pitcher Jorge Lopez, whose fastball averages right around 90-91 mph.
“From the radio booth, it looked like the ball might have deflected slightly off his shoulder before hitting him,” Seely said. “But it caught him flush.”
Seely said Peterson is still undergoing tests to see if there is a fracture to his jaw. If there is, he’d have to be transported to a hospital in Iowa City.
Somewhat impressively, Seely said Peterson wasn’t knocked to the ground after getting hit. He stayed on his feet and dropped into a crouch before being attended to by the team’s trainer.
Fractured or not, it seems unlikely that Peterson would be back this season. The LumberKings have 11 games remaining in the season. They are three games up for the final playoff berth in the Northwest League. Losing Peterson would hurt the team’s offense. He was hitting .293 with seven home runs and 20 RBI for Clinton in his first month with the team.
Seely also said that second baseman Timmy Lopes, who had been playing well of late, is in Seattle having his shoulder examined and is not with the team.