By Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel
PHILADELPHIA The stitches of the baseball are branded into his cheek and his left eye is black and blue. The white part of the eyeball visible when Logan Morrison looks to the side is blood red.
A day after sustaining an injury that might have ended his career, Morrison was back in the Marlins Get your Marlins Tickets now!’ starting lineup and went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run.
Sunday in the 10th inning, Morrison was in the on-deck circle when Emilio Bonifacio fouled off a pitch and caught him just under the eye. Fortunately, the ball caught him more on the cheek than the orbital socket.
It wasn’t long before Kirby Puckett and former Marlin Juan Encarnacion entered Morrison’s mind. Puckett was hit in the face with a pitch that ended his season in September 1995. The following season in spring training he was diagnosed with glaucoma. While with the Cardinals in 2007, Encarnacion was in the on-deck circle — like Morrison — when a foul ball hit him. The eye injury he sustained ended his career.
“Really scary,” Morrison said. “I was trying to think if I could see out of my eye or not. I was shocked. I realized I could and was like, ‘You know, I’m good, whatever, I’m fine.’ I wanted to play… [Trainer Mike Kozak] said I had a fracture. I think he was just saying that to get me off the field. I started thinking about Kirby Puckett and Juan Encarnacion. I just got really, really lucky.”
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“I’m not sure how it’s going to affect me. If I feel like I’m going to hurt the team being out there and I’m not going to do well, then I’ll let them know. As far as the way I feel, I feel fine…I saw it coming, but I don’t know if I moved at all. I didn’t actually see it come off his bat. I heard it come off his bat.”
With several of their relievers unavailable, the Marlins added two more arms from the minors Monday, recalling right-handers Jay Buente and Jose Ceda.
Ceda, acquired from the Cubs in the Kevin Gregg deal on Nov. 13, 2008, was out all last season with shoulder tendinitis. He made his debut Monday afternoon and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced. He walked one, struck out six and retired 13 of the last 15 batters he faced during the 86-pitch outing.
“You saw his stuff,” said manager Edwin Rodriguez, who watched Ceda’s fastball sit in the mid-90s. “Powerful arm. He didn’t have any idea where it was going. It was good to throw him out there.”
The Marlins were without Burke Badenhop and Leo Nunez on Monday. Badenhop pitched in each of the last three games against the Braves; two pitches into his warm-up to enter Sunday’s game, Nunez felt neck stiffness. Rodriguez hopes to stay away from Nunez this series.
Right-hander Brian Sanches also was limited Monday. He missed the Braves series with an intercostal muscle strain and was out for the afternoon game. He anticipated being ready to go in the nightcap.
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