Tigers starter Reese Olson became the latest pitcher to leave a game after getting hit by a batted ball. Michael Massey’s 102 MPH line drive hit Olson in the right hip. Olson was diagnosed with a hip contusion, but it certainly could have been worse.

That marked the 6th instance in which a pitcher left the game as a result of being hit by a batted ball this season. Hunter Harvey (Nationals), Wade Miley (Brewers), Frankie Montas (Reds), Alec Marsh (Royals), and Taijuan Walker (Phillies) are the other occurrences.

We wrote about this almost exactly a year ago and the dangers pitchers faced then are still those that the pitchers face now.

Sports Info Solutions tracks injury events in all the sports it covers. We document everything, even foul balls off a catcher’s mask or off a batter’s foot. Every injury event receives a grade ranging from 1 (least severe) to 5 (most severe).

Injury events graded ‘4’ and ‘5’ are generally significant. A 4 grade is for an injury with a trainer’s visit, where the player is shaken up and needs time to recover and move around on his own power (and often leaves the game). A 5 grade is an injury that requires an immediate visit, in which the player may be immobile and/or bleeding. Severities are based on what happens immediately following the injury, not knowing what the diagnosis or prognosis is.

The 6 pitchers listed make up those whose injuries received a ‘4’ grade. There haven’t been any ‘5’ grade injuries for pitchers yet this season. Last season, there were 16 injuries that received a ‘4’ and 2 more that were graded a ‘5’ (Ryan Yarbrough of the Royals and Anthony Misiewicz of the Yankees were each hit in the head by line drives). 

The 18 injuries with a ‘4’ or ‘5’ grade was more than the total for 2021 and 2022 combined (16). It was also one shy of the most since 2015 (19 in 2018).

Entering Monday, there were 53 total instances of a pitcher being hit by a batted ball and receiving some type of injury grade. Using ‘on pace for’ is tricky for something like this but it certainly would not be surprising if the sport matched its totals for pitchers receiving an injury grade after being hit by batted balls the last 2 seasons (172 and 176, respectively).

Pitchers Hit By Batted Balls

Season Received An Injury Grade Grade 4 or 5
2015 216 11
2016 175 8
2017 154 10
2018 191 19
2019 135 11
2020* 50 5
2021 158 6
2022 172 10
2023 176 18
2024** 53 6

* Shortened season

** Through games of May 19, except for last column, which includes Reese Olson’s injury on May 20

*** Alert readers may notice very slight differences in numbers when comparing this year’s article to last year’s. This was due to a technical issue that was fixed after last year’s article was published.