Yunel Escobar’s helmet collided with Andy LaRoche’s knee as the Blue Jays shortstop slid into third base for a fifth-inning triple last night and he later left the game after experiencing what manager John Farrell described as “persistent dizziness.”
Escobar underwent concussion tests last night, which according to Farrell includes a CAT scan and cervical X-ray. There’s no word yet on his status, but Escobar is out of the lineup for today’s game and seems like a good candidate to be the first player placed on MLB’s new seven-day disabled list for concussions that was introduced last month.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau suffered a concussion on a similar play last July while playing against the Blue Jays, as his helmet made contact with John McDonald’s knee as he slid into second base trying to break up a double play. Morneau ended up being sidelined for nine months, but there’s obviously no reason to assume the worst with Escobar. For now the Blue Jays are “cautiously optimistic” he’ll be fine.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.