SARASOTA, Fla. – Right-hander Kevin Gausman joked that he “looks like I got in a bar fight,” but otherwise was not injured in a scary, freak collision in the second inning of the Orioles’ Grapefruit League game against the Detroit Tigers on Monday
Backing up a play at the plate, Gausman jumped in anticipation that Adam Jones’ throw might sail and he landed on Detroit’s Jeimer Candelario, who was in the on-deck circle.
“First off, it was a pitch I left too up, base hit up the middle. Trying to get back to getting behind (the plate) and back up home. I’ve been playing baseball for a long time, and I’ve never ran into a guy,” Gausman said. “So, it’s just kind of one of those freak things. I watched it back, and ran right into the brim of his helmet. I think that’s what kind of what caused me to get a little slice.”
Talking to reporters afterward, Gausman had about a one-inch cut between his left eyelid and left eyebrow. He went through concussion protocol and said he’s fine. His sense of humor remained intact.
“They asked me some questions, Made sure I knew what day it was, that type of thing. Most days, I don’t. It just happens to be one of my buddy’s birthdays, that’s how I know it’s the 26th Any other given day I might have messed that up,” Gausman said. “Then, just kind of went through some protocol, made sure my neck was OK and that type of thing. But, yeah, I’m fine.”
Gausman never lost consciousness, but remained sitting on the field for several minutes while being treated by head athletic trainer Brian Ebel.
“I think I was just kinda in shock. I didn’t know, like I said, who I hit,” he said. “I knew right away that my eye was hurting and went to touch it and that’s when I got blood all over my hand and figured out I should probably stay there.”
He’s not sure if he’ll have to get stitches to close the cut, but, otherwise, besides a slightly sore back and the abrasion near the eye, he seems to have avoided any real setback. Gausman left the game under his own power, but was later taken to the club’s medical room on a cart.
Candelario stayed in the game, drew a walk, but then was replaced by a pinch-runner while dealing with what looked like a leg issue.
“Watching it on video, we kind of hit bodies first. And then my head hit his head. At first it felt like I got the brunt of it. But when I watched it back, I knocked him down too. So, I’m excited about that,” Gausman joked.
“That’s what I heard (that Candelario left the game). Hopefully, he’s OK, too.”