Brandon McCarthy visits the A’s, shows off his scar

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For the first time since being discharged from the hospital, Brandon McCarthy visited the A’s on Friday.

“Everybody was really excited to see him and I think he was very excited to see us, too,” reliever Jerry Blevins said. “There’s just nothing that compares to the clubhouse atmosphere and just having him back and being around the guys, it’s hard to beat that.”

To mark the occasion, Jonny Gomes presented McCarthy with an A’s batting helmet signed by his teammates with “heads up” written on the bill.

McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture nine days ago when he was hit by an Erick Aybar liner.

“He looks normal, he’s just got a buzzed head and a cool scar,” Blevins said. “He looks a lot tougher than he did.”

McCarthy didn’t make himself available to the media today, but he’s still tweeting up a storm.

 

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.