Ryon Healy is not in the Oakland lineup for his fielding prowess, and a wicked hop got the best of him Friday night.
As a corner infielder/DH for the Oakland Athletics, Ryon Healy has had a productive offensive season (19 home runs and 54 RBI entering Friday). But with a road interleague series this weekend against the New York Mets, if Healy was going to be in the starting lineup Friday night, it had to be in the field somewhere.
It was Healy’s 21st appearance at first base this season, and he had two hits and an RBI over his first three at-bats to hold up his end in the batter’s box. But in the bottom of the sixth inning, with his first base counterpart Lucas Duda at the plate, Healy’s glove work was tested by a hard hit ball that took a tricky hop off the infield dirt at Citi Field.
In a very scary moment, Healy was hit directly in the left temple by the nasty hop. After being down for several minutes he left the field under his own power, however unsteadily by most accounts. Concussion protocol is obviously in play here, and Yonder Alonso replaced Healy in the game.
A chapter in the Moneyball book was devoted to one-time catcher Scott Hatteberg’s signing with Oakland and his transition to playing first base for the first time. In the film adaption, Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane and a fictionalized version of third base coach Ron Washington discuss the difficulty (or lack thereof) of a transition to first base for someone who has never played the position.
Healy seems sure to miss some time, but let’s hope he is able to return as quickly as possible. He seems like a bit of a throwback to the height of Oakland’s “Moneyball” era, albeit without the signature robust on-base percentage (.293 going into Friday night’s game this year).