DENVER -- The Nationals expressed relief on Saturday that Rockies pitcher Juan Nicasio was alert and resting comfortably after having surgery to repair a broken C-1 vertebrae in his neck. Nicasio suffered the injury when he was struck on the right side of the head by an Ian Desmond line drive in the second inning of the Nationals' 5-3 victory on Friday night. "He got hit so hard. I was really worried about him," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "We understand he's talking and knows what went on last night, so that's great news."
Johnson said he has seen "a ton" of players be hit in the head during his long baseball career. The skipper reflected on being hit just below the nose by a fastball while playing Double-A ball. "People think baseball isn't a very dangerous game, but it's dangerous," Johnson said. "That ball is coming at the hitter 100 mph, and it's going back even faster than that at the pitcher and other players."