A lot was made of New York Mets utility man Jordany Valdespin being hit in the man region by a Justin Verlander fastball on Monday, but many people do not understand the severity of the situation. Fortunately, Valdespin’s health has checked out fine. The thing that made the situation so scary is that he was not wearing a protective cup.
“You would think if you are starting at second base, you would be smart enough to wear a cup,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
After he left the ballpark, the NY Post was told Valdespin wasn’t wearing a cup when he was drilled with a 94-mph fastball. Did he think you can’t get hit in the nuts during spring training just because the games don’t count? Infielders almost always wear a cup, and it’s probably smart for every position player to do the same. In fact, Valdespin proved that even designated hitters would benefit from using an athletic supporter.
“He took a hack at the first pitch and the next one — he already hit one bomb — and the next one he totally squared [toward] me,” Verlander explained. “And I’m like, ‘Oh God, this isn’t going to be good.’ Right out of the hand it’s like, ‘Oh, [bleep]! That is right at his [genitals].’”
Valdespin said everything is “working good” when reporters caught up with him after the painful experience. Collins has warned the 25-year-old about some of his antics potentially getting him into trouble, such as irritating Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg a couple of weeks ago when he faked a bunt to lead off a spring training game. If you want to get under the skin of opposing pitchers, it’s probably even more critical that you protect the family jewels.