A scary scene in Orlando as the Braves play the Cardinals this afternoon: a foul ball came screaming off the bat of Brian McCann and into the Braves dugout. It struck Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar, who was face down on the ground for several minutes after it hit him. An ambulance crew took him away in a stretcher, and he was then airlifted to an Orlando hospital.
UPDATE: Mark Bowman from MLB.com reports:
Salazar was hit as he stood along the rail of the dugout in the first inning of Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals. He appeared to be stiff-legged as he fell back and seemingly struck his head against the hard dugout floor.
This is sounding worse and worse.
UPDATE II: Dave O’Brien reports that Salazar was unconscious for as long as 20 minutes, but when he regained consciousness he was breathing on his own. Real life isn’t like the movies. Being knocked unconscious for even a few minutes is scary stuff. Twenty minutes is an eternity. Still, guardedly good news so far.
UPDATE III: Salazar has multiple facial fractures and an eye surgeon is currently examining him. He was hit in the left side of the face by the ball, and then fell and hit the floor of the dugout face-first.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.