ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 13: Reliever Marc Rzepczynski #34 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Busch Stadium on June 13, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 4: Reliever Marc Rzepczynski #34 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium on July 4, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dan Mueller
St. Louis Cardinals Marc Rzepczynski talks to fans as he signs autographs at the St. Louis Cardinals annual Winter Warm up in St. Louis on January 19, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt By Dan Mueller
JUPITER, Fla. – Cardinals left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski will be confined to his bed for the next three days and won’t pitch for several days after being hit in the eye while golfing with teammates Friday.
What hit him in the eye is unclear, but it apparently wasn’t the ball. Rzepczynski grabbed his eye and fell to the ground following a shot from the rough on the first hole at Admiral’s Cove Golf Course early Friday afternoon.
“I don’t think it was the ball that hit him, I think it was either a piece of mulch or an acorn or something that was underneath the ball that just shot straight up and got him in the eye,” said pitcher Lance Lynn, who was on the course with him. “We weren’t close enough to see what it was or how it happened but I’m pretty positive it wasn’t the ball.
“When he first swung he looked like he had something that flew in his eye and then obviously it started hurting worse and he saw he had a little bit of blood above his eye. He eventually made it to the ground but originally he just thought something flew in his eye and was swiping his face, that’s what it looked like, and then it hurt worse and he went to his knees from there.”
Fellow lefty reliever Randy Choate and minor league pitching prospect Seth Maness were also on the course when Rzepczynski went down on just his second shot on the first hole.
Trees were near Rzepczynski when he made his shot but the ball ended up 50 yards down the fairway, making it unlikely the ball was what hit him.
“All of a sudden Lance looks over and says why is ‘Zep’ on the ground and we looked over and he was on the ground with his hand to his eye,” Choate said. “I walked up and said ‘Hey dude what are you doing’ and he looked up and he had a little blood coming from it and I ran and got the cart and said get in the cart, let’s go we have to take you to (head trainer Greg Hauck).
“He didn’t even know what happened. He was like I don’t even know if it was the ball, a twig and then the whole way up here he kept saying, ‘Only me, this only happens to me, only to Zep.’”
Rzepczynski was eventually taken to an eye doctor who prescribed three days of bed rest. The lefty reported blurred vision that was getting better.
Manager Mike Matheny didn’t seem particularly pleased while talking about the incident Saturday morning.
“I know he’s going to be resting for a while,” Matheny said. “He can’t get work if he’s in bed, so yeah, that’s definitely not helping him get ready for the season.”