Red Sox prospect Bryce Brentz explained by phone that his absence from big league camp in spring training is due to an injury that he sustained due to an accidental discharge of a gun he was cleaning. The injury was sustained after he attended the organization’s Rookie Development Program in early January. While he would not disclose the specific injury, he said that the issue was “nothing serious.” Still, while he expects to be ready for the start of the season, the timing of the injury meant that he would not be able to participate in Red Sox big league camp.
“Everything is fine,” Brentz said. “After the rookie program, I had an accident. Everything is fine, but I was cleaning my gun and it accidentally discharged on me and I sustained an injury. Nothing serious. That’s why I was out of big league camp, because at the time I’m not able to participate fully, but I am recovering very fast and should be OK for the season.
“That’s all I can really comment on — everything is fine. I’m just recovering and that’s why I’m not able to participate in big league spring training.”
Brentz is in Fort Myers for spring training, having arrived there at the start of February. The 24-year-old spent last year in Double-A Portland before a year-ending promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. He hit .290/.349/.465/.814 with 17 homers in 127 games, one year removed from having launched 30 homers in 115 games in Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem. Manager John Farrell recently suggested that Brentz has a chance to impact the big league team in 2013.
“Bryce Brentz, he is that power hitting outfielder for us,” said Farrell. “He’s going to be in Triple-A. He’s got a chance, if an injury comes up or we need a right-handed right-fielder, this is a guy that physically profiles to the position.”
UPDATE: Ben Cherington offered some details regarding Bryce’s incident.
“He had an accident. He was at home cleaning a gun and accidentally went off. He was injured in the process. Fortunately for him it’s something he’s going to recover from and be fine and won’t affect his baseball career. He wasn’t 100 percent physically able, or wouldn’t be at the beginning of camp. We ended up not bringing him to big league camp because he wouldn’t be able to participate 100 percent.
“He was cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off. The bullet went into his leg and out the other side. I guess you could say he got lucky relative to what happened. I think he understands he got lucky and it’s a serious thing and he has to be careful. He’s here in Fort Myers and he’s recovering and it’s not going to get in the way of his future, but he won’t be in big league camp.”
Cherington said the team wouldn’t rule out Brentz playing in game before the end of spring training. If not for the accident, the outfielder would have been a non-roster invitee.