Opinion

Royals’ Alcides Escobar goes on seven-day disabled list for concussion

Alcides Escobar was helped up by trainers after getting hit by a pitch from Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar in the fifth inning Wednesday.
Alcides Escobar was helped up by trainers after getting hit by a pitch from Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar in the fifth inning Wednesday. The Associated Press

Alcides Escobar was put on the seven-day disabled list for concussions on Friday, two days after getting hit in the face with a pitch.

Escobar suffered concussion-like symptoms Wednesday after taking a 96-mph fastball from the Indians’ Danny Salazar on the earflap in the fifth inning. Escobar hasn’t played since then, and the Royals made his move to the disabled list retroactive to Thursday. Escobar can return next Thursday, when the Royals play the final game of a homestand against the Indians.

The Royals recalled Orlando Calixte from Class AAA Omaha to take Escobar’s roster spot.

“He looks great, he feels great,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Escobar. “But even though you feel good, this is nothing to play with.”

Yost recalled the case of Corey Koskie, the former Brewers third baseman who suffered a concussion after he landed awkwardly after diving for a fly ball. That happened in 2006, when Yost was managing the team.

“Just a benign ball, he hit his head and never played again,” Yost said. “Once there’s that initial injury, if you re-injure it, the percentages are high it could be much worse.”

Escobar, speaking before the Royals played the Tigers on Friday at Kauffman Stadium, said he felt fine. The troubles he was having on Thursday, unable to focus quickly after looking up, were gone.

“I feel better today, way, way better,” Escobar said.

No matter. The Royals made the decision based on the results of the imPACT test used to measure concussions.

“This is something that can end your career,” Yost said. “It’s not worth trying to push through this.”

This is Calixte’s second stint with the Royals this season. He spent a week with the team in April when Escobar missed a couple of games because of a knee injury. Calixte appeared in one game and scored a run.

Escobar’s absence means Alex Gordon will likely remain at the top of the lineup. He’s scheduled to bat first for the second straight game on Friday.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BlairKerkhoff.

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