Robin Ventura told the media Saturday he didn’t know about what happened Friday night at Fenway Park in Boston. When he was told, the incident clearly startled him.
“That stuff is always scary,” Ventura said. “I think foul balls… we’ve had a couple here you see how close they are.”
During the second inning of Friday night’s game at Fenway Park in Boston between the Red Sox and Athletics, Oakland’s Brett Lawrie broke his bat and a piece of it hit a fan sitting between home plate and the third-base dugout. The fan was carried off on a stretcher with what were called life-threatening injuries, though fortunately on Saturday it emerged the woman is expected to survive.
It was another reminder to Ventura of how dangerous the game can be, even if you’re not playing.
“I don’t like standing anywhere where it’s open where they get a free shot at you,” Ventura said. “Even in spring training I don’t like sitting out in the chairs when they put them out there. You just feel like a target out there.”
MelkyCabrera was out of the lineup against Tigers left-hander David Price. A switch-hitter, Cabrera has struggled from the right side, hitting .080 (4 for 50) against lefties and was replaced by Emilio Bonifacio. Venturasaid Cabrera would be back in the lineup Sunday against righty Alfredo Simon.
Ventura also ruled out the possibility of Cabrera hitting left-handed against left-handed pitchers.
“He’s not going to feel comfortable and he has never done it before in his career,” Ventura said. “Those guys, even though the numbers don’t look right when they’re there, you want him to find it on that side more than you want him to go up there and just swing left-handed.”
Ventura was also asked about the possibility of moving Adam Eaton from the leadoff spot if he doesn’t improve. While Ventura didn’t completely dismiss it, he said he’d rather have “Adam start doing better in that spot.”
“At some point if it doesn’t get better where you see the improvements and the things you’d like to see out of the leadoff guy, we could have a different guy,” Ventura said. “As of right now I don’t see that.”
Nate Jones threw a one-inning simulated game Friday and Ventura said the right-handed reliever is continuing to make progress. Ventura also said “they’re getting closer” to a rehab assignment.
“In everything that he’s done he’s checked all those points off that you need to get to,” Ventura said of Jones, who underwent Tommy John surgery last July.
Fellow right-hander Matt Albers, who needed surgery on a broken right pinky suffered during the April 23 brawl with Kansas City, played catch in the outfield but Ventura said he still has a pin in the finger and that it’d be a while before he returns
As for how to make the game safer for fans and onlookers, Ventura didn’t have an answer.
“I don’t know exactly how you solve it, but it’s scary, it really is when either bats or balls go in the stands. I don’t know the answer to it,” Ventura said. “You hope everybody is all right.”