SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brandon McCarthy does not wish to be known as that player who got hit in the head.
At least for now, though, it’s an identity he can’t escape. When last seen in a major league baseball game Sept. 5, the right-hander — then with the A’s — was struck in the head by a vicious line drive.
The results were as frightening as it gets for a pitcher — an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture. At one point, the A’s called the injuries “life-threatening.” Two hours of surgery were required.
Now, cleared to return by the top expert in the field, he has begun spring training with his new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he and the team seem much more concerned about his history of shoulder problems than with the after-effects of that scary day.
Such events would be expected to create a greater appreciation of the chance to play a game for a living, or perhaps even gratitude to just be alive. McCarthy, speaking after Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers worked out for the first time on Tuesday, prefers to downplay the event and its aftermath.
To do otherwise, the 29-year-old right-hander said, gives the injury too much power.
“I don’t know if it’s a non-cliche answer, but my outlook over everything, it just really hasn’t changed because of it,” he said. “Doing that just puts more emphasis on what happened and it reflects on it, which isn’t something I’m interested in doing.”