Brandon McCarthy hit in head by line drive, taken to hospital

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Scary moment in the A’s-Angels game, as Oakland starter Brandon McCarthy was hit on the right side of his head by an Erick Aybar line drive.

McCarthy immediately went down and his arms and legs seemed to go limp, but he remained conscious and sat up while talking to the training staff for several minutes before eventually being able to walk off the field under his own power.

UPDATE: Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that McCarthy has been taken to a local hospital “for precautionary reasons.”

MLB.com has video of the play, but be warned that it’s tough to watch/hear:

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.