Josh Thole could be headed for the seven-day disabled list for concussions after taking a shoulder to the head on a slide from Ty Wigginton during tonight’s game against the Phillies.
The injury occurred when Freddy Galvis hit a tapper to Bobby Parnell with runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth inning. Parnell made the throw to Thole, who tagged Wigginton to record the out, but he took a shoulder to the face while trying to spin out of the way of the slide. Thole managed to keep the ball in his glove, but he went face-down in the dirt before team trainers rushed to his side.
Thole walked off the field under his own power to warm applause from the Philadelphia crowd, but Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that he kept telling trainers that he felt dizzy. He is currently being evaluated by doctors and will likely be sent back to New York for further testing.
If the Mets place Thole on the seven-day disabled list for concussions, they will likely promote either Rob Johnson or Lucas May from Triple-A Buffalo while Mike Nickeas will get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate.
Thole went 1-for-3 before exiting tonight’s game and is hitting .284/.356/.370 with a .726 OPS over his first 92 plate appearances this season.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports that Athletics’ right-hander Sonny Gray will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic after failing to meet the necessary criteria for insurance coverage. He missed 70 days on the disabled list with forearm tightness and a back strain in 2016.
According to Oakland GM David Forst, Major League Baseball tried to persuade the insurance carrier to waive the requirements for Gray to pitch for Team USA, but the request was ultimately refused. Without coverage, Gray will be unable to participate in the competition, though Forst adds that the 27-year-old is still in perfect health as Opening Day approaches and should benefit from a slower spring training schedule without the added commitment on his plate.
Injuries complicated a down year for Gray, who pitched to a career-worst 5.69 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 rate through 117 innings in 2016. His 1.4 HR/9 and 17.8% HR/FB rates suggested that he felt the effects of the home run spike more than most, capping a disappointing follow-up to his All-Star campaign during 2015.
While Gray works up to a healthy and productive start to the 2017 season, the Athletics will still see two players on WBC rosters next month: right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla, who is scheduled to pitch for the Dominican Republic, and fellow righty John Axford, for Team Canada.
Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton is scheduled for another knee exam on Monday, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Hamilton left camp last week after feeling some pain in his left knee and received a PRP injection to alleviate the symptoms. Wilson notes that both Dr. Walt Lowe and Rangers’ assistant general manager Mike Daly noticed little improvement in the days following the injection.
More drastic measures could be necessary if the 35-year-old intends to return to the field this year. MLB.com’s TR Sullivan adds that the Rangers are considering arthroscopic surgery for Hamilton, which would set him back at least 4-6 weeks and eliminate any real chance of his making the Opening Day roster in April. Until they see the results of the surgery, however, the Rangers won’t rule out Hamilton’s potential return to the big leagues in 2017.
Hamilton is looking at his third major procedure since the end of the 2015 season. He missed all of the Rangers’ 2016 campaign after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last spring and has not seen a full workload in the majors since his 2013 run with the Angels. Should he make a full recovery this season, he figures to see some time at first base/DH or the corner outfield.