If you missed last night’s win over the Rockies, you missed out on a ton of fun, encouraging things … and one very scary moment.
Late in the game, Mike Olt was facing hard-throwing reliever Adam Ottavino, whose motion brings him across the body, making outside pitches to righties, in particular, very hard to handle. That leaves batters ready to dart out over the plate – pitches that seem to be starting right at you can wind up on the outer half – which makes them all the more vulnerable to what happened to Olt, who took a 96mph fastball off of his right hand/wrist/arm.
Here’s the video, and, it looked and sounded horrible. We’ve all seen plenty of videos where a pitch breaks a batter’s wrist, and that’s exactly what those videos look like – there’s no padding on your body there, and it’s so very exposed as you’re moving forward to ready your swing. Olt goes down immediately, the trainer comes out, and Olt leaves.
Incredibly, the early returns, however, are very encouraging.
Not only were X-rays negative for a break (Cubs.com), but Olt was reportedly smiling and discussing the pitch freely in the clubhouse afterward, saying he was “fine” and “lucky”, and that he thinks he’d be ready to play by today (ESPN, CSN).
To be sure, I think it’s extremely unlikely that Olt actually plays today – he’s being called day-to-day, and the Cubs are going to see how he feels today – but, given the pitch, this is about as good as the news could possibly get this morning. Even if Olt has to miss some time, it doesn’t sound like a serious break is suddenly going to be discovered. Wrists for hitters are like shoulders for pitchers – it’s the one spot for an injury that gets you very, very nervous about the long-term ramifications. So this is tentatively excellent news.
And if Olt is truly, completely fine after that pitch? He’s officially a freaking hoss.