Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar is set to return to his managerial post with Class A Lynchburg Friday when the team opens at home against Myrtle Beach.
It’s been only 4 1/2 weeks since he lay unconscious on the dugout floor at Disney after getting hit in the face by a Brian McCann foul ball in spring training when everyone involved feared for his life. Salazar lost his left eye, which had to be surgically removed, but he has made a remarkable recovery otherwise.
Doctors have since discovered a fracture in his right arm from when he fell backward down five steps into the Braves’ dugout, but it was only minor in nature. He’s been rehabilitating in Orlando, but reiterated to Braves director of player development Kurt Kemp Saturday morning he’s ready to return.
Salazar will begin the season managing from the dugout, but there’s a chance he could eventually return to coaching third base. Doctors have not limited him in what he can do on the field, Kemp said, it’s just a matter of what he’s comfortable with and how well he feels like he can see the whole scope of the field. He has been fitted for protective goggles to wear on the field.
“It’s a matter of what he’s comfortable with,” Kemp said. “It’s his call.”
At least at first, hitting coach Bobby Moore will handle third base coaching duties, which typically fall to the manager in the minor leagues. Rick Albert has been serving as Lynchburg’s interim manager this week while the team is on the road.