CLEVELAND -- When baseball players facetiously encourage teammates to "take one for the team," they're advising the batter to endure the pain from getting hit by a pitch for the reward of a free base. Typically, that sort of jesting is meant for a pitch heading toward a meaty, pain-tolerable portion of the body, such as the thigh. Taking one for the team in the face, however, is no laughing matter.
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall exited Thursday's contest against the Blue Jays after a fastball from right-hander Carlos Villanueva struck the rookie in the cheek during a second-inning at-bat. He left with what the Indians termed a "facial contusion." The ball struck Chisenhall in between his right cheek and his nose. Jack Hannahan replaced him.
"I feel really bad about that," Villanueva said. "Hopefully, I will be able to call over there and talk to him. Hopefully, he's OK. I wasn't even trying to go up and in. I was trying to go in for a strike, and it just flew up a little bit."
Indians manager Manny Acta said Chisenhall would see a specialist at noon Friday and will be reevaluated after that.
"The ball kind of nipped the helmet and hit him in the cheek bone," Acta said. "His eye is swollen."
Chisenhall missed nine games last month while playing for Triple-A Columbus after suffering a concussion on a slide to third base in a game on June 9. Acta said examinations conducted Thursday didn't reveal any indications that Chisenhall had suffered another concussion.
The rookie clubbed the first home run of his career during Wednesday's 5-2 victory against the Yankees. In 30 at-bats, Chisenhall is hitting .267 with two RBIs.