The initial hope was the right-hander would avoid surgery. But he sustained two fractures to his skull and sustained swelling and bleeding on the brain. He also has a concussion.
According to the Marlins, Del Orbe's neurological functions are all in place, and he is doing well under trying circumstances.
The pitcher will remain in the intensive care unit through the weekend, and best-case scenario, he may be discharged from the hospital by Wednesday or Thursday.
To stop the bleeding, surgery required a portion of Del Orbe's skull being removed. At some point, a second surgery will be performed to re-insert the piece of skull, which is being preserved at the hospital.
The injury occurred in the sixth inning on Tuesday, when Del Orbe was hit by a liner off the bat of West Virginia's Josh Bell in Charleston, W.Va.
A 5-foot-11, 190-pounder, Del Orbe signed with the Marlins as a non-drafted free agent in 2008. He is 5-8 with a 4.75 ERA in 23 starts.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter