The news keeps getting worse for Cardinals fans.
As first reported by WTPL’s Bob Lobel, right fielder Carlos Beltran was sent to a local Boston hospital with pain in his ribs after robbing David Ortiz of a grand slam in the second inning of this World Series Game 1 at Fenway Park. The Cardinals originally labeled the injury as a “rib contusion,” but it sounds like it could be something much more serious.
Beltran’s elbow and torso collided with the right field well before the ball fell into his glove and the 36-year-old could be seen grimacing and grabbing at his rib cage immediately after. One of the top postseason performers of all time, he’ll be sorely missed if he’s forced to sit out the rest of the series.
The Cardinals put Shane Robinson in right and Jon Jay in center to fill the absence in Game 1.
Here’s a GIF — courtesy of HardballTalk’s own Bill Baer — of the spectacular Beltran catch:
Boston has a 5-0 lead on visiting St. Louis as the top of the sixth inning gets underway at Fenway.
UPDATE, 11:43 p.m. ET: According to FOX’s broadcast, X-rays were negative and Beltran is day-to-day.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.