The Giants-Athletics Cactus League exhibition game had just started and things immediately went downhill for starter Johnny Cueto. Billy Burns ripped his first pitch back up the middle, striking Cueto in the head. It appeared to be a glancing blow, and the right-hander stayed in after being attended to by team trainer Dave Groeschner. Burns stood on second base with a double.
The next batter, Mark Canha, hit a slow chopper between first base and the pitcher’s mound. Cueto couldn’t decide whether to commit to fielding the ball or to cover first base, so Canha ended up reaching safely. Josh Reddick promptly deposited a three-run home run over the fence in right field for a quick 3-0 lead.
Cueto was able to settle down from there, striking out Danny Valencia, then inducing consecutive ground outs from Stephen Vogt and Khris Davis.
It appears that Cueto will be fine, but not all head trauma presents immediately. The Giants will certainly have him go through concussion protocol after the game. Still, one wonders why they risked keeping him in what is really a meaningless game.
Marlins infielder/outfielder Brian Anderson departed Friday’s 19-11 win over the Phillies with a left hand contusion, the club announced. Following an X-ray, it was then revealed that he had sustained a fracture of the fifth metacarpal — an injury severe enough that it’ll likely keep him off the field for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Anderson suffered the injury on a hit-by-pitch in the third inning. On the first pitch of the at-bat, with the bases loaded and one out, he took a 93.9-m.p.h. fastball off his left hand. The HBP forced in a run, but he doubled over in pain and was quickly examined by a member of the Marlins’ staff before officially departing the game in the top of the fourth.
It’s an unfortunate way to end Anderson’s third campaign with the Marlins. The 26-year-old has posted some career-high numbers this year, reaching the 20-homer mark for the first time and batting a healthy .261/.342/.468 with an .810 OPS and 3.0 fWAR through 510 PA. Despite the setback, he should be fully healed and ready to go well in advance of the Marlins’ spring training in 2020.