FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said this morning that outfield prospect Bryce Brentz shot himself in the leg while cleaning a handgun last month and is not on the spring roster as a result.
"He was at home cleaning a gun and it accidentally went off. He was injured in the process," Cherington said. "Fortunately for him, it was something he's going to recover from and be fine and won't affect his baseball career."
Cherington said the bullet passed through Brentz's leg.
"I guess you could say he got lucky relative to what could have happened. I think he understands he got lucky and it's a serious thing. He's got to be careful," Cherington said.
Brentz is in Fort Myers. He would have been invited to major league camp but is not yet physically ready to play. He could be cleared for games by the end of spring training.
"He's doing well," Cherington said.
Brentz is an avid hunter and owns several guns. Cherington said the Red Sox have no team policy that addresses gun ownership or use.
"Certainly in a case like this we've talked to Bryce. We've had a couple of conversations with him about how serious this is," Cherington said. "He wasn't doing anything illegal or anything like that. He had a gun he was trying to clean and there was an accident. It's something we may have to deal with case by case. We talked to Bryce about it."
Brentz, 24, hit .290/.349/.465 last season with 17 home runs and 76 RBIs. He spent most of the season with Double A Portland and was very unlikely to make the major league team.
Alex Speier of WEEI first reported this morning that Brentz was involved in a gun accident.