Rays' Enny Romero okay after deflecting line drive headed for face

Published June 26, 2016

BALTIMORE — Saturday afternoon could have been much worse for the Rays as LHP Enny Romero escaped serious injury by using his bare hand to deflect a line drive headed for his face.

"That was really scary," C Curt Casali said. "My heart stopped for a second there because that could have been a career changer."

X-rays were negative, with Romero reporting nothing worse than some inflammation and soreness.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I told (manager Kevin) Cash I could pitch" today.

Romero had retired the first two in the eighth inning of the 5-0 loss to the Orioles when Manny Machado lashed a ball right back at him clocked by MLB StatCast at 109 mph. Romero got his left hand up at the last second as he spun then went to the ground face down, with Rays personnel unsure momentarily whether he had been hit in the head. When he got up, it was obvious by his hand was what hurt.

"I just saw the ball coming to my face, and the only way was to put up my hand to my face," Romero said. "If it hit my face it would take a long time to come back to pitch."

3B Evan Longoria said Machado told him he thought it was going to hit Romero in the head.

"He's lucky he got his hand up," Longoria said. "It would have been really bad. I think we escaped a serious, serious injury."

ARCIA INTRO: OF Oswaldo Arcia said he welcomed the opportunity to join the Rays after being designated for assignment by the Twins. He went 0-for-3 with a walk and sac fly on the day.

"I'm happy to wear a new jersey today and have a new shot at helping a team win," he said through a team interpreter. "I'm going to come here every day to play hard and give a good at-bat every time I'm up there."

Arcia, 25, hit 20 homers in 103 games for the Twins in 2014 and was an opening day starter in 2015, but a May hip flexor strain landed him on the DL then a demotion to Triple A. When he didn't do much in limited opportunity this season — .214, four homers, 12 RBIs in 32 games — he figured his time with the Twins was up.

"I was basically waiting for it," he said. "Last year … I was up and down a bit. It's not really a stable situation to have that, so this year I'm looking for that chance to be up for the full time and compete."

Arcia spent his 10 days of DFA limbo in Minnesota working out. He started in rightfield in Saturday's nightcap.

"He's a guy that kind of adds to that dimension of being able to mix and match a little bit," Cash said.

BULLPEN SHUFFLE: Rookie RHP Tyler Sturdevant, 0-1, 4.80 in 13 appearances, was optioned to Triple-A Durham as RHP Ryan Webb (right pec strain) was activated off the disabled list.

RHP Danny Farquhar also was sent back to Durham after working an inning during what he acknowledged was a "very unusual" experience as the 26th man, called up for the day under a rule MLB adopted in 2012.

But Farquhar joked that he made the best of it, with two nights at the team's plush Four Seasons Hotel: "It's really nice. I got the corner room, floor to ceiling windows, really fancy.''

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Though RHP Erasmo Ramirez was responsible for the deciding runs in the nightcap, he said he felt better and pitched sharper after getting four days off.

REHAB REPORT: OF Brandon Guyer (left hamstring) went 0-for-4 as the DH as he began a short rehab assignment with advanced Class A Charlotte, targeting a return by Wednesday vs. Boston and ex-mate David Price. … RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) on Friday threw his second live batting practice session, RHP Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgery) his first.

MISCELLANY: Saturday was the 25th doubleheader in Rays history; they are 4-12-9. … SS Adrian Rondon, signed to a $2.95 million bonus in 2014, hit three homers and drove in nine runs Friday in his second game at rookie-level Princeton.