Blue Jay’s left-hander J.A. Happ said he is aiming to return to Toronto’s rotation by the time the All-Star break rolls around. Happ has been sidelined since May 7th, when he sustained a fractured skull after being hit with a line drive of the bat of Ray’s outfielder Desmond Jennings.
On top of the fractured skull, Happ suffered contusions, as well as damage to the ligaments in his knee. Happ sounds positive about his progress however, and said “I’m coming along and threw off a mound without a (knee) brace the other day and hope to do so tomorrow.”
Happ was very limited prior to this breakthrough, but he is now regularly working out to get back into playing shape, but it seems he is also wanting to be patient at the same time, as to not rush anything.
He was placed on the 15-day DL originally, but was then moved to the 60-day. His time on the 60 runs out on July 7th, but that does not necessarily mean he will be back in action at that time if he and the team do not feel he is ready to go.
When events like this occur, the topic of increased safety for pitchers almost always comes up. Some people advocate some kind of helmet, or at least a hat with increased padding. When Happ was asked about something along those lines, he stated “It’s hard to comprehend something that would be both functional and protective.”
I would think that is probably a common opinion among pitchers. These guys are competitors first, and they are willing to put their health on the line if it means more success for themselves and their team. If there were something created that could increase safety, while not obstructing the pitcher in the process, then I am sure it would be embraced by a large group of players.