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.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.
Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.
Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.
As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.
Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.