Cardinal prospect misses chance for game action after eye injury -

Cardinal prospect misses chance for game action after eye injury in drills

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JUPITER, FL. ( -- Matt Bowman, a Rule 5 draft pick for the Cardinals this year, missed his first shot at spring action Thursday.

The 24-year-old was scheduled to throw in the team’s first Grapefruit League game, but will miss the game after being hit in the eye with a ball in drills Wednesday.

“It was a pitcher reaction drill. It’s called rag ball. It was a softee ball and it just hit me and got me unfortunately in a bad spot for that. But it’s probably my own fault that I’m not a lot quicker,” he said. “The balls aren’t all that hard, so this is probably the worst thing that would have happened during that drill. But it’s not all that bad.”

When he left camp for the day it was expected he’d have some bruising, but when he woke up with pain and blurry vision Thursday morning, trainers stepped in.

“Today it persisted instead of moving in a different direction, so I told the trainers and they said for precaution let’s go see the doctor and the doctor also for precaution said let’s take a few days off.”

Bowman saw a specialist Thursday morning, and by the time he spoke in the clubhouse the blurriness had subsided. He’ll be given a few days off from physical activity, but is only expected to have to deal with bruising. He has a follow-up with the eye doctor Monday.

Bowman is an intriguing name in camp, having been in the New York Mets’ system since being drafted in 2012. He rose fast, reaching Triple-A in 2014, but struggled in Las Vegas in his first full year there.

He posted a WHIP of 1.679 over 140 innings, striking out 77 and walking 51. The Cardinals snatched him in the Rule 5 draft, hoping a system that has developed tremendous pitching could recenter the Princeton product.  

Unfortunately, his debut will be put on hold until he gets clearance next week.

“Just need to see the doctor again. It sounds like he’ll probably give me the go-ahead. A couple days off from throwing is not going to set me back at all. Unfortunately I missed today throwing in the game, but I’ll cross my fingers that’s it,” he said.

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