Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon took a line drive to the head and somehow was allowed to stay in the game. With one out in the top of the second, Hernan Perez sent a liner back through the middle at 105 MPH, ricocheting off of Taillon’s head and eventually resting in left field.
Taillon was tended to by team trainers, but stayed in the game and completed a scoreless second inning. He hit for himself in the bottom half and struck out against Brewers starter Junior Guerra.
Considering how serious the concussion issue is in the NFL, it would be wise for Major League Baseball to be even more stringent when it comes to letting players play through potential head injuries. Given the pressures put upon players — particularly younger players — we can’t expect them to make the best decisions when it comes to their personal health. If Taillon were to campaign for coming out of the game, he might be perceived as soft by the media or he may lose respect among his teammates and coaches. MLB should ensure that players that suffer head trauma aren’t forced to make the choice.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.