When Bryan Mitchell showed reporters the Yankee cap he wore Monday night, with part of its bill bent at nearly a 90-degree angle, it drew a similar reaction to the liner to the face that caused it to bend.
But at least there were a few laughs after the terrifying incident the night before.
Standing in front of his locker in the Yankees clubhouse before the game Tuesday night against the Twins, Mitchell was in good spirits after being struck in the face on a line drive off the bat of Eduardo Nuñez.
Mitchell suffered a small nasal fracture and was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, but is grateful it isn't worse.
"It could have hit my eye, temple, jaw," he said. "I feel like I'm in a way better spot than I could be."
The laceration on the bridge of Mitchell's nose was visible through thin bandaging. He had a dark bruise under his left eye, and a fainter bruise under his right.
Before anyone else, Mitchell knew it wasn't as bad as it looked on television.
"As soon as it hit me," he said, "I knew that I had just got hit, but my eyes were OK. My jaw was OK. So I knew that I was basically alive.
"I basically said, 'I'm all right. Let's just get me off the field.' That was really it."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed that Mitchell suffered a concussion. "The eyes, obviously, you worry about, so those are all good," Cashman said. "He's got a fractured nose, he's got five stitches, he's concussed, so you just wait and see. But certainly it could have been far worse. It was a scary moment."
Mitchell suffered a concussion last month while with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after he fell backward during an exercising accident.
"I saw the neurologist today," Mitchell said, "but given that I had the concussion a month ago down in Scranton, just kind of trying to play it safe."
For the first time in his career, Mitchell, who had never been hit with a comebacker above the waist, said he's thought about wearing protective gear. "I'm not saying that I'll do it," Mitchell said, "but it's definitely something that I'll think about."
Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi: "I think anytime there are safety issues, you have to look at them and try to make the best decision for everyone."
Mitchell is eligible to rejoin the club Aug. 25. Lefthander Chris Capuano and righthander Nick Rumbelow were called up from Scranton and righthander Caleb Cotham was sent down.