Giancarlo Stanton is disappointed that he won’t be playing in all 162 Major League Baseball games, but he’s just happy he can still see.
The Miami Marlins slugger spoke for the first time Thursday about the injuries he sustained — lacerations, facial fractures and dental damage — when he was hit in the face by a fastball from Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers on Sept. 11.
“I was really fortunate,” Stanton said via MLB.com. “I could have my mouth wired shut now. I could have a plate in my face. I could have a lot of things. I’ll take a few missing teeth over all of that.”
Stanton was back with the Marlins on Thursday, but it’ll be a long time before he sees the field again, as the team shut him down for the remainder of the season Wednesday. That will be helpful for the 24-year-old outfielder, who’s understandably still wary of stepping back into the batter’s box.
“I’ve wondered about that,” Stanton said. “I think I’m in a great mental state for what has gone on. But to be able to be back into the box, and in competition, I’m not quite sure. I think when we decide the protection that will be on, I’ll have more reassurance wearing that. I don’t know.”
And some of that reassurance will come from Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who endured similar injuries last season and wears a special face mask on his helmet. Stanton said Heyward reached out to him to give him advice and support.
The only thing that Stanton wasn’t very talkative about was whether he believes he still deserves the National League MVP award.
“That’s not up to me,” Stanton said via The Associated Press. “That’s the voters. There’s nothing I can do.”
Photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images
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