Today was a painful day for the Orioles. In addition to being swept by the Rays and losing third baseman Manny Machado due to a scary leg injury, Alexi Casilla was forced to exit after he collided head-first into Nick Markakis’ leg while attempting to make a diving catch in the seventh inning.
Casilla nearly made a remarkable catch on the play, but the ball popped out of his glove as a result of the collision. Despite laying on the ground for several moments and looking quite woozy, he finished the inning before leaving the game. According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Casilla will undergo a CT scan to determine whether he has a concussion. He’ll remain in Tampa Bay overnight rather than fly back to Baltimore with the rest of the team.
Casilla, 29, is batting .214/.268/.295 with one home run, 10 RBI, and nine stolen bases in 62 games this season.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.