Cleveland Indians outfielder Josh Naylor was hospitalized after suffering a leg fracture in a horrifying collision with a teammate in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
In the fourth inning, Naylor, playing right field, ran toward the infield in pursuit of a shallow fly ball while second baseman Ernie Clement ran towards right field. Both players collided, causing the ball to drop in for a hit and sending Naylor airborne.
Naylor landed awkwardly on his right foot, which seemed to twist backwards under the weight of his body. The training staff immobilized Naylor’s leg and stretchered him off the field, causing a 12-minute delay.
“Once you see that, you’re not going to unsee it,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after the game. “And it brings out feelings, too, and it’s hard for people to sometimes, regardless of what team you’re on, refocus, and there’s a lot of people that care about that young man and we’ll be thinking about him as time goes on.”
Following the game, Indians manager Terry Francona revealed that Naylor had suffered a fracture and was undergoing further evaluation at the hospital.
Cleveland, trailing 4-1 at the time of the injury, would go on to lose, 8-2. The scene left Naylor’s teammates in visible agony, making it difficult to continue.
“To be honest, it was really, really hard,” Indians catcher Rene Rivera said. “The way he reacted, it was heartbreaking, man. It’s hard. A guy like him, nice guy in the clubhouse, really a lot of energy, positivity, and to see him go through that was really tough. You can tell the full dugout was really shook.”
Naylor, 24, emerged as Cleveland’s starting right fielder this season in his third year in the big leagues. He is hitting .253 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs across 69 games.