Sunday: Culberson fractured a bone in his cheek on the play, tweets David O’Brien of the Athletic. While he won’t require surgery, he will miss the remainder of the season.
Saturday: A very heated scene ensued in D.C. this afternoon after a fastball from Washington’s Fernando Rodney struck Atlanta’s Charlie Culberson squarely in the face. Though Culberson, 30, was turned to bunt when at-bat in the top of the seventh, Rodney’s fastball apparently got away from him and connected near Culberson’s eye. Culberson was placed onto a medical cart by the Atlanta training staff and eventually motioned a “thumbs-up” to the crowd, but manager Brian Snitker would soon follow him off of the playing field after an ejection. Apparently incensed that home plate umpire Tim Timmons called the pitch a strike, Snitker vociferously mirrored much of the Twitter community’s feeling that, despite the fact that Culberson was indeed squared to bunt when the pitch hit him, the umpire should have spared the strike call in consideration of the bloody scene. Atlanta’s Fox Sports affiliate has video of the incident which shows both the aftermath of the HBP and Snitker’s ejection (Twitter links).
As for the potential, on-field ramifications of this incident, Atlanta can ill-afford to lose more position player depth. Johan Camargo was just this week felled by a fractured shin, and a lengthy absence for Culberson would further test Atlanta’s bench corps as the group gears up for postseason play.
Since the beginning of 2018, Culberson has provided the Braves with 466 plate appearances in which he has recorded a .267/.316/.457 slash line with 17 home runs and 65 RBI. Even more usefully, Snitker has employed the veteran at every position save for center field and catcher over the last two years, including some garbage-time relief pitching work. Further updates on Culberson’s injury will be provided as they become available.