Although baseball pitching machines are built with player safety in mind, every now and then a minor mishap can even happen to a skilled and seasoned pro like Casey Kotchman. According to a recent article posted in the Sun Sentinel, the southpaw used the pitch machine for leverage instead of knocking it over. —
He received four stitches and will likely miss a game or two when the Marlins face the Cardinals in Grapefruit League play later this week. His Fantasy League rankings will likely stay in place as his collective stats have dwindled over the last few seasons. Kotchman should make a full recovery within a week or two and be ready to play by opening day.
When baseball store owner Steve Klein heard about incident, a sigh of relief echoed through his warehouse:
“Thank goodness Kotch will be ok! It’s hard to imagine him grabbing the live wheel, and I’ll bet he learned a valuable lesson from it. These baseball pitching machines come with a ton of safety features, but the wheels have to be exposed. I remember telling a few little league coaches to warn their players about the velocity of the spinning wheels, even on the smaller models. What happened to Casey may turn out to be a good thing; learning about safety is just as important as showing up for practice and getting your head in the game.”
Spending a lot of time around batting cages and practice facilities in general, getting beaned by runaway baseballs is the most common occurrence. Kotchman’s case appears to be the first of its kind on the professional level, and hopefully the last. Most, if not all baseball pitching machines come with a set of instructions that include possible safety hazards as well. Klein has some first-hand experience in the field:
“I've sold hundreds of these types of pitching machines for sale and I especially like the one the Marlins are using, and I’ve also taken the time to read up on the products I sell. Whether it’s a batting cage or a pitch machine, knowing the possible dangers can help to prevent these types of injuries. But I also know a few things about Casey Kotchman.
The Marlins signed Kotchman less than a week ago for his defensive prowess, and they may be using him quicker than expected, depending upon the status of Logan Morrison’s knee. He’s a career .267 hitter, but his OBP has dropped over the last three seasons to a less-than-impressive 280.
He set an MLB record for playing over 250 games without committing an error at first base back in 2010, so I guess he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He tried to catch the pop-up and save the pitch machine at the same time, with his finger taking the brunt of the collision. People all over the internet are now speculating on what this baseball pitching machine for sale would bring today on the open market with Casey's first hand impression on it.
“I remember Casey in his salad days,” Klein added. “His best years came as an Angel, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with. And who knows? Maybe he’ll be able to tear up the base-pads for the Marlins this season. But I do know one thing; he’ll always remember that baseball pitching machines are stationary objects.”
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