O's David Hess vows to be more careful after being hit in eye by football

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher David Hess might want to stick to baseball.

The rookie right-hander was hit in the left eye while playing catch with a football Friday night before Baltimore's game against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field. He was taken to a specialist for an examination of the eye.

"For me immediately I was just trying to make sure I could see, and once I could see I knew I was OK," Hess said after the Orioles were beaten 14-2 by the Rays. "That was good but definitely something I've got to be careful with going forward"

By the early innings, Hess was back in the Baltimore dugout -- wearing an LSU football helmet.

"I could not entirely tell you where the LSU helmet came from," Hess said. "It appeared in the second inning and I was told to wear it, so I wore it."

It's a normal sight almost across the majors to see pitchers doing running work involving football passes before batting practice.

"I think going out there and playing around ... that's just kind of part of being an athlete," Hess said. "We want to go out there, we want to toss around a football or whatever it may be. This is just one of those times where a freak accident happens, so next time I've just got to move my head or catch the ball."

Turns out that Hess won't miss his start Saturday night against the Rays. The 25-year-old is 3-9 with a 5.27 ERA this season.

Hess is not the only issue for the Baltimore rotation this weekend.

Manager Buck Showalter said righty Alex Cobb is not expected to start Sunday due to lingering blister problems. Josh Rogers would take Cobb's spot.