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Justin Turner injury update: Red Sox 2B hospitalized after taking pitch to the face in spring training game

Red Sox second baseman Justin Turner is in stable condition after taking a pitch to the face during Boston’s spring training game against the Tigers on Monday afternoon.

A fastball delivered by Detroit starter Matt Manning hit Turner in the head in the first inning. He immediately crumbled to the ground, with blood appearing to leak out of his mouth.

Here’s a clip of the incident for those who want to see it. (Warning: This video is graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.)

Turner was eventually helped to his feet and taken to the dugout. According to the Red Sox’s official Twitter account, Turner was transported to a local hospital in Fort Myers. He also underwent testing for a concussion. 

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Justin Turner injury update

Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters after the game Turner was “in good spirits” following the beaning. 

Later, Turner’s wife Kourtney provided an update on his status via Twitter. She wrote that her husband needed “16 stitches” and had “a lot of swelling” but had escaped the incident with “no fractures and clean scans.” 

Signed in the offseason after an accolade-filled spell with the Dodgers, Turner is expected to help fill the offensive void left by the departures of stars Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, as well as the long-term injury to Trevor Story.

A multi-faceted talent with all-field contact skills, Turner — who inked a one-year, $21.7 million deal with Boston — is poised to fill in at designated hitter. If he were to miss any significant time, that could pose challenging for a Sox team that finished at the bottom of the AL East in 2022.

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Turner’s absence could open the door for fourth-year hitter Bobby Dalbec to get some swings in a platoon role. The 27-year-old struggled over the course of 2022, posting an 80 OPS+. However, his status as a right-handed batter could make him more viable, especially compared to the team’s litany of lefties (Jarren Duran, Masataka Yoshida, Rafael Devers, Ramiel Tapia). Turner was slated to bat second in between Devers and Yoshida, although Cora could rejig the lineup to spread the runs around.

The good news is Cora and the Red Sox have a few weeks’ cushion for the veteran to bounce back before the regular season begins. 

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