DENVER — For the first time since being struck in the head by a line drive on May 13 against the Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Feltner was back inside the Colorado Rockies dugout on Friday.
Sitting in the dugout with Colorado Rockies Major League Rehab Coordinator Scott Murayama, Feltner detailed the moments right after being hit by a line drive off the bat of Nick Castellanos. You can see the video here, but be warned that it is a disturbing image.
Feltner told reporters that that moment was “scary” and that he was very aware of what was happening around him in the initial moments after being struck.
“It’s hard to describe it. I didn’t lose consciousness or anything,” Feltner said. “Everybody got out there pretty quickly to check on me. I was just getting my bearings and I was just glad I was able to walk off.”
Feltner spent one night in the hospital after the incident and still deals with dizziness as well as some “hearing issues” on the right side, but he believes that will all “get better with time.”
He said he has heard from several other MLB players about the incident, including Chris Bassitt of the Toronto Blue Jays, who was hit in the head by a line drive as well. Additionally, Feltner said that Castellanos had sent him a letter and a gift.
“That was part of the process for me as well, because I felt bad for him,” Feltner said. “I saw how upset he was.”
Feltner has now returned to the clubhouse and being around some of the other players, referring often to the Rockies as “family” for not only the way they responded to him right after being hit, but in the days after as well. He is at Coors Field for brief amounts of time as he continues to recover from the fractures in his skull.
“I’ve never been in a clubhouse as tight-knit as this one,” Feltner said. “I would like to say it (the support) was expected, knowing the guys in there, but it’s been overwhelming. It’s been great to have that support, especially that night. It’s super special.”
Despite the nature of the injury and the still long recovery road ahead, Feltner is leaving the door open for a return to the mound this season.
“I don’t want to rule it out. The desire on my end is there,” Feltner said. “I trust in the team and the professionals who know more than I do about the issues. We’re in this process together so I’m just following their lead but I will pitch again at some point. I don’t know if it will be this year, but I’ll pitch again.”