Rays prospect Tyler Zombro ‘progressing’ after scary comebacker

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Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Tyler Zombro was out of bed and walking around with assistance just two days after he was struck in the face by a line drive, according to manager Kevin Cash.

“Still progressing in the right direction,” Cash told reporters after speaking with the minor-league affiliate’s trainers.

The 26-year-old Zombro was pitching for Triple-A Durham against Norfolk’s Brett Cumberland in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game.

Zombro immediately crumbled to the ground, lay motionless for a moment face down, then began to convulse as teammates and a trainer rushed toward the mound. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed in stable condition. Cumberland saw the horrible sight, slow jogged to first base and took a knee in prayer.

Thursday’s game was suspended at that point and Friday’s game was postponed before the teams resumed a Triple-A series Saturday. Cash first spoke to Durham manager Brady Williams.

Rays prospect Tyler Zombro comebacker
Rays prospect Tyler Zombro

“[Williams] certainly said it was a pretty jarring experience, maybe the scariest thing he’s witnessed on a baseball field,” Cash said Friday, according to MLB.com. “It was very concerning. The good news is that, by all accounts and the reports, Tyler is recovering well. I think things at this point are going about as well as we could all hope for, so that’s tremendous. The next 24-48 hours, we want to keep hearing that good news. But right now, we feel very fortunate and lucky to be where Tyler’s at and just continue to hope for the best for him.”

The Rays named Zombro their 2019 Minor League Reliever of the Year. He has been to the past two major-league spring training camps but has not yet made his MLB debut.

“That was one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Rays pitcher Ryan Sherriff, who was in Durham for Thursday’s game, told MLB.com. “Very chilling. I spent my offseason with Zombro. We worked out together. And it really hit home to me after everything that I saw. I wish him the best. I wish his family the best. Just hope he is doing great.”

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