It was a scary moment in the bottom of the first at Surprise Stadium in Arizona. The Rangers left-fielder Willie Calhoun took a fastball from the Dodgers’ Julio Urias off of the chin and crumpled to the ground. Calhoun remained down while trainers check on him, and he was eventually carted off.
Update on Willie Calhoun who was hit in the mouth area by a Julio Urias pitch in today’s game. A CT scan and examination revealed he has a fracture of his jaw. He is expected to undergo further evaluation on Monday.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 8, 2020
While there is obviously no timetable for a return yet, the good news is that it could have been much worse. Any time a batter takes a 95 mph off of their face, all you can do is hope for the best. In this case, a broken jaw is likely the best-case scenario for Calhoun.
Dodgers fans may remember Calhoun mostly for one big trade. He was part of the package that landed Yu Darvish in Los Angeles back in 2017, en route to the team’s first World Series appearance since 1988.
The Dodgers drafted Calhoun in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from Yavapai College in Arizona. He showed tremendous power in a very short time, hitting 27 homeruns at Double-A level for the Tulsa Drillers in 2016.
While his bat was always very intriguing, the Dodgers were not overly impressed with his defensive prowess. The team ultimately dealt Calhoun, AJ Alexy, and Brendon Davis to Texas in exchange for Yu Darvish, their ace at the time. Calhoun went on to perform well enough in Texas’ farm to get a big-league promotion in 2017.
Last season, Calhoun hit well for the Rangers. He hit .269 with 21 homeruns in just 83 games played.