UPDATE: The Cardinals announced that all tests on Piscotty were negative and he’ll be held overnight for observation. Fantastic news.
9:49 p.m. ET: The Cardinals just announced that Piscotty suffered a head contusion and is being transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
9:41 p.m. ET: Terrifying moment tonight in Pittsburgh, as Cardinals rookie Stephen Piscotty was carted off the field after a violent collision with teammate Peter Bourjos in left-center field.
Both players were going after a fly ball off the bat of the Pirates’ Josh Harrison in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bourjos made a sliding catch, but a diving Piscotty took a knee to the head/face in the process. You can watch the play here, but I’ll warn you that it’s very graphic. Bourjos immediately waved for help as Piscotty was motionless on the ground, apparently unconscious. PNC Park was silent as Piscotty was eventually moved to a stretcher in a neck brace. One piece of good news is that he waved to the crowd as he was being carted off the field.
We’ll pass along an update as soon as it is made available. Here’s hoping for the best.
Piscotty has been a key contributor for the Cardinals since his call-up in July, batting .310/.365/.502 with seven home runs and 39 RBI over 62 games.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.