Rays prospect pitcher Tyler Zombro hit in head by line drive, remains in hospital

A scary scene unfolded in a Triple-A game between the Durham Bulls and Norfolk Tides Thursday night. Bulls pitcher Tyler Zombro was hit in the head by a line drive, prompting the teams to suspend the game.

A tweet from the team Friday morning said Zombro is still at Duke University Hospital and the updates overnight were “positive.”

The Rays have since announced Zombro is in stable condition at a local hospital, and will undergo further tests. Here is the team’s statement from Thursday night:

“Tyler Zombro was transported to Duke University Hospital in Durham and is in stable condition. He is currently undergoing further treatment and observation. Additional updates will be provided as they become available. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tyler, his family and his teammates.” 

Friday morning, the Rays issued a follow-up statement: 

As of this morning, Tyler remains under the care of the nurses and doctors at Duke University Hospital. The updates from overnight have been positive, and he remains in stable condition. We are overwhelmed by the support for Tyler and the wishes for his full and speedy recovery from fans and the baseball community alike. We will provide additional updates as he progresses.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning and the Bulls later announced the game has been suspended, and will be resumed at a later date. Other minor league teams and players offered thoughts and well wishes for Zombro, as did former MLB pitcher Brandon McCarthy.

Thursday’s Triple-A game between the Norfolk Tides and Durham Bulls was called in the eighth inning after Bulls pitcher Tyler Zombro was hit in the head by a line drive.

Zombro, a 26-year-old reliever for the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, appeared to be convulsing on the mound before being taken off the field on a stretcher as his teammates looked on.

In a statement after the game was called, the Rays said Zombro was transported to Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, where he was in stable condition and undergoing further treatment and observation.

On Friday, the Rays said Zombro remained in stable condition in the hospital, adding that “the updates from overnight have been positive.” The team said additional updates would be released when they become available.

The Tides led 12-4 when Zombro entered in the top of the eighth inning. Brett Cumberland, the first batter Zombro faced, lined a 1-2 fastball up the middle that struck Zombro in the face. The right-hander immediately fell to the ground, and his feet appeared to be shaking as an athletic trainer rushed to him.

The game was initially suspended with Norfolk leading 12-4, but was later considered to be completed early.

Zombro has been in the Rays organization since 2017, when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of George Mason. He has a 3.18 ERA this season and a 2.79 career ERA in the minors.

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