Saturday was the Yankees’ first official summer season exercise, a routine little bit of preparation to start out their coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. Instead of an unusual observe at Yankee Stadium, the workforce witnessed a daunting incident by which a key pitcher was hit on the pinnacle with a line drive. And later within the day, it introduced that two different gamers had been absent from observe as a result of they’d examined constructive for Covid-19.
Masahiro Tanaka, a two-time All-Star, lay immobile on the bottom after being struck with a ball off the bat of his teammate, the slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Tanaka finally sat up and walked off the sphere with two athletic trainers by his facet. He was launched from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital on Saturday evening after being evaluated for concussion-like signs.
The Yankees additionally introduced constructive checks for star infielder D.J. LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa with their permission, as league guidelines stop groups from naming gamers with out consent.
LeMahieu and Cessa stay remoted at their properties and might want to take a look at detrimental earlier than touring to New York to affix the workforce, Yankees Manager Aaron Boone stated. LeMahieu has been asymptomatic, whereas Cessa has proven “very mild” signs of the virus.
“We’ll see how that continues to unfold the next several days,” Boone stated.
Tanaka, who returned to his native Japan quickly after the season had been suspended in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, was facing a pair of Yankees power hitters, Aaron Judge and Stanton, at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon as he threw in front of coaches for the first time in months.
But Tanaka had little time to react when Stanton, who hits the ball as hard as anyone in baseball, drilled a line drive toward the mound. The ball struck the right-handed Tanaka on the right side of the head, knocking him to the ground, where he lay for at least five minutes while cradling his head.
“It sucks to see something like that, especially during something as simple as a sim game,” outfielder Aaron Hicks said in a video news conference with reporters.
After the ball hit Tanaka, Stanton immediately crouched down and put his hand on his helmet, seemingly upset that he had hit hurt his teammate. With the Miami Marlins in 2014, Stanton sustained facial fractures and needed multiple dental procedures when he was hit in the left cheek by a pitch from Mike Fiers, then with the Milwaukee Brewers.
“It’s incredibly unfortunate what happened today,” Boone said. “In a lot of ways, we’re hopeful we avoided something really bad happening.”
Tanaka, 31, is in his final season of a seven-year, $155 million contract he signed with the Yankees before the 2014 season, in which he was selected as an All-Star. He was also an All-Star in 2019, a season in which he posted a 4.45 earned run average over 182 innings.
Tanaka had been pitching without a so-called L screen, a protective barrier often used during practice sessions. But after seeing Tanaka get hurt, pitcher Jordan Montgomery said he was so shaken up that he requested one, which he had not originally planned on using.
“It’s horrible,” Montgomery said, adding later: “I hope he’s OK. I’m thinking and praying for him right now.”
Last year, the Yankees set a major league record with 30 players spending time on the injured list.