Brandon McCarthy had surgery for an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture

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Scary news to pass along on Brandon McCarthy, who was hit in the head by a line drive during his start yesterday against the Angels.

The Athletics just announced that McCarthy underwent a two-hour surgery last night after a CT scan revealed an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture. He had another CT scan today which showed improvement from his previous scan while the epidural hemorrhage has subsided. He’s currently resting in the critical care unit of the hospital.

“Our first concern is Brandon’s health, and we are heartened to learn he has shown progress in his recovery after surgery,” said Billy Beane, the A’s vice president and general manager.  “We are glad to report he is stable, awake and alert.  The team will provide further updates as they become available in the coming days.  We would ask members of the media to respect the privacy of Brandon and his family during this time.  As we travel to Seattle today, Brandon remains in everyone’s thoughts as we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Everyone at HBT sends out their best wishes to Brandon.

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.