Red Sox P Hanner Houck suffers facial fracture, out indefinitely after line drive to face

Boston Red Sox pitcher Tanner Houck is in stable condition after suffering a facial fracture from a line drive to the head on Friday, the team announced Saturday.

He is reportedly resting at home after being evaluated at Mass General Hospital, with follow-up appointments next week to determine his treatment plan. No timetable was provided for his return.

The injury was the result of a scary scene during a game against the New York Yankees, in which Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka hit an 89.7 mph liner that connected with Houck’s face. The right-hander immediately fell to his knees on the mound and was seen bleeding.

Houck eventually left under his own power while being guided by trainers.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, a 15-5 Red Sox win, that Houck was responsive and knew where he was, per ESPN, with a cut that would require stitches.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck holds a towel to his face as is helped off the field by a trainer after being struck by a line drive on the cheek during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 16, 2023, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Tanner Houck experienced a pitcher’s worst nightmare on Friday during Yankees-Red Sox. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Houck is a significant loss for the Red Sox. He currently leads the team in innings pitched with 67 2/3 in 13 starts, though he has struggled with a 5.05 ERA while working exclusively as a starting pitcher. Before this season, he held a career 3.02 ERA in 146 innings, with 20 starts in 53 appearances.

The injury clearly could have been worse, though, so the fact that he’s in stable condition is good news enough given how badly some pitchers have been hurt by comebackers in the past.