CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Carlos Santana entered the Cleveland Indians clubhouse on Friday afternoon and walked to his locker, stopping to chat with a few teammates along the way.
Other than the obvious red mark on the right side of his head, you would never know Santana had a bit of an injury scare in the Tribe dugout on Thursday night.
“I feel much better than last night,” he said. “It’s something that happens in life, in baseball. But, I feel better.”
For a while, Santana’s health status was a little uncertain, as the Indians’ designated hitter was struck by a foul ball during the fifth-inning of Thursday’s blowout victory over the Los Angeles Angels at Progressive Field.
The ball, which was hit by Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, was lined into the home dugout where Santana was sitting along the railing. It connected with the right side of Santana’s head and the 30-year-old slugger immediately fell down.
Several players, coaches and staff immediately rushed to his aid, and Santana was eventually helped into the team’s clubhouse.
“I remember everything,” he said on Friday. “I can’t move any faster [away] from the ball. But, I’ll be OK. I’m getting better all the time.”
Santana was sent home after undergoing concussion tests and was re-examined at Progressive Field on Friday afternoon.
“He went through a battery of tests already today,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And what they’re going to do is ramp up his activity today steadily and see how he handles that. The doctor’s not convinced he has a concussion. Saying that, we’re not going to play him.”
Francona elected to keep the switch-hitter out of Friday’s lineup for Cleveland, erring on the side of caution. The fact that Santana has suffered a pair of concussions in the past adds to the team’s careful approach with their first baseman and DH.
“If he handles his activity, then he gets looked at again by the medical people and the doctors,” Francona said. “And if they OK him, then you just go on how he’s feeling. If he ramps up the activity and things start to show, then we can put him on the concussion DL and call somebody up. We won’t do anything today.”
Part of Friday’s activity included Santana playing catch in the outfield during team batting practice. Of course, trainers kept a close eye on the switch-hitter and shielded him from any wayward fly balls that could potentially sail his way.
If Santana does need a stint on the seven-day concussion DL, it can made retroactive to Friday if necessary. As of now, it doesn’t appear that will be needed, but concussions can be a tricky subject. Symptoms of a concussion can often be delayed.
“I don’t feel like I have a concussion,” Santana said. “I don’t think so, but we’ll see. I have to see how I feel. Everything depends on the doctor.”
While it appears the Indians avoided a potentially dangerous situation, Lindor still felt terrible about the ordeal. The Tribe shortstop made it a point to check in with his teammate frequently, as often as every 5-10 minutes throughout the night and morning, according to the Santana.
“I was happy because I got the ball,” Santana said. “I want [Lindor] to sign it and I’ll put it in my house.”
At least Santana didn’t lose his sense of humor.