Hiroki Kuroda: "I just feel lucky to be alive"

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It seems like a lot more attention has been paid to the blow to David Wright’s head than Hiroki Kuroda’s, but at least Wright had a helmet.  Kuroda:

“It happened so fast that I didn’t have any time to be scared,” the right-hander said through an interpreter. But after falling to the ground, “I was kind of scared about what was going to happen next.”

So was his wife, Masayo, who was watching the game from their Los Angeles home.

“She thought I died,” Kuroda said . . . “I have a minor headache and when I stand up I feel a little bit dizzy sometimes,” Kuroda said. “They basically told me to rest. I just feel lucky to be alive and [to] go out on the mound next time.”

Given what happened to Ryan Church last year, I’d feel much better about the world if neither Wright nor Kuroda played again this year.  There are some things more important than baseball, and there is nothing more scary than a head injury.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.