Golf has long been the go-to sport for baseball pitchers during the off-season and during times when they aren’t scheduled to throw. Hall of Famer Don Sutton became quite a good player, and John Smoltz even tried his hand at playing professionally.
But there are risks, as St. Louis Cardinals reliever Marc Rzepczynski discovered last week when he attempted to hit a punch shot from the trees on the first hole of what was supposed to be a leisurely round. Rzepcznski hit the shot and fell to the ground after something struck his eye.
Bruised and temporarily blinded, Rzepcznski sat out for three days before returning to training camp on Monday for evaluation. Whether it was the ball that struck him or debris from the shot is uncertain, but as Rzepcynski told The St. Louis Post Dispatch, “It’s a freak, freak, freak thing. It's a one-in-a-billion-type of thing that happened.”
Rzepczynski missed a scheduled date to pitch against the Marlins last Saturday. Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak told reporters that the team will continue to monitor the situation with the hopes that the injury is not serious.