Eyre back in action after scare involving 3-year-old daughter

Pitcher's youngest child OK after falling into pool, being taken to hospital

March 14, 2012|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — — For a few hours Tuesday, Orioles right-hander Willie Eyre and his wife experienced a parent's worst nightmare.

Luckily, everything turned out OK after Eyre's 3-year-old daughter, Lily, fell into a hotel pool and was underwater for about "five or six" seconds before Eyre's wife retrieved her. Lily never lost consciousness and passed several tests at a local hospital.

"The whole thing was more scary, I think, than anything," Eyre said. "My wife is pretty shook up. Everything seems to be good now. [Lily] slept good through the night. And we woke her up every hour or so just to make sure she was responding. I think she was more mad we were waking her up."

Eyre came off the field before Tuesday's game and was handed a note that his daughter was heading to the hospital after the accident. He left immediately with the team's permission.

"Right there, your heart kind of stops for a beat, you're like, 'What?' It's kind of surreal, 'No way. Come on,'" Eyre said. "So I called my wife, and she was already on her way to the hospital. She was, I don't want to say hysterical, but she was not happy. She was crying and very worried."

Eyre said Lily, the youngest of his three kids, had been in the pool, wearing floaties on her arms, but had come out and was coloring when she accidentally drew on herself.

"She colored on her leg a little and told mommy she wanted to get it off. And [Eyre's wife] is like, 'We'll get it off.' I guess that meant [to Lily] she was going to go do it herself," Eyre said. "So she went back to the pool and my wife turned around to get some stuff from a bag, and she turned back around and my middle child, Parker, yelled, 'Mommy, Mommy, Lily is underwater.' So then she went and got her."

No water was found in Lily's lungs during an examination, but she was kept in the hospital for a few hours for observation before the entire family went home.

"We were coming back from dinner last night, getting back to the parking lot, and just out of nowhere, [Lily] said, 'Mommy, thanks for getting me out of the water.' It was kind of a crushing blow," Eyre said. "But we will be fine. We'll get some mental toughness out of this and get stronger through it and will be better parents because of it."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Eyre will pitch during Saturday's split-squad game in Fort Myers, where the Eyre family lives. Eyre has been told he can stay with his family at his home on Sunday and Monday's day off before returning to the team.

Eyre, who had been dealing with a groin injury, made his spring debut Wednesday, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I think we all give Willie Eyre a pass [Wednesday]," Showalter said.

Teagarden has tear in back

Taylor Teagarden, who was expected to be the club's backup catcher when it heads north in April, underwent an epidural injection in his lower back.

Showalter said Teagarden's chance of being ready by Opening Day is "in jeopardy" but wouldn't rule him out yet.

Teagarden has been dealing with back issues and saw a specialist Tuesday. He has been diagnosed with a slight tear of the ligament that supports a disk in his back. He will rest for three days, and, if all goes well, he'll then be able to begin hydrotherapy and spine stability treatment. The injury is not considered serious, and the timetable for a return is roughly three weeks.

But since Teagarden has had just five at-bats this spring, that likely means he won't be ready for Opening Day.

Veteran Ronny Paulino, who was signed as a minor league free agent and arrived in camp nearly three weeks late because of visa problems, is the leading candidate to serve as Matt Wieters' backup if Teagarden is placed on the disabled list.

Wada's simulated game

Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) threw 33 pitches to hitters Jai Miller and Scott Beerer, as well as special assistant Brady Anderson, during a back-field, simulated game.

"He was real good," Orioles pitching coach Rick Adair said. "I don't know what the velocity was, but the ball was jumping out of his hand. The action on his two-seamer was great. It located down much better than anticipated. His changeup was above average. His curveball still has a ways to go. His slider is getting close. He's healthy."

Wada will throw two innings Sunday or Monday in his first live-game environment. If he pitches Monday — which is the Orioles' sole day off of the spring — it would be in a Single-A game at Twin Lakes Park.

Adair said it's still "a possibility" that Wada could earn one of the team's five rotation spots. How well he recovers from his next few throwing sessions will dictate that, Adair said.

"That's what I'm shooting for," Wada said through interpreter Danny McLeith. "I'm going to do everything I can to get one of those spots."

Orioles lose to Pirates, 11-5

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