San Francisco Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly sustained a concussion Saturday after getting hit in the back of the head when Buster Posey’s ball struck him while he was standing near second base during batting practice.
But Kelly was still expected to be on the field for Game 1 of the NL championship series on Sunday as long as he gets cleared by team doctors.
He was taken to a hospital for tests and later released, with athletic trainer Dave Groeschner saying in a text, ”doing better, going home.”
”We’ll let the doctors see him tomorrow,” Groeschner said.
Kelly walked off the field with assistance and was placed on a stretcher to leave the ballpark. The NL West champion Giants were holding a workout at AT&T Park a day before opening the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Posey said he didn’t see what happened.
”I saw him on the ground like everybody else, I didn’t see it hit him,” Posey said. ”Anytime somebody gets hit in the head you’re worried for them. He seemed to be doing all right. He was cognizant and answering questions. I think any time with a head injury, it is scary because you just can’t take anything for granted with that, and you have to be really, really careful.”
The frightening moment came just more than a month after Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive to the right side of his head on a ball from the Angels’ Erick Aybar on Sept. 5. McCarthy, Oakland’s opening day starter, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture on the play and underwent two hours of surgery.
The 48-year-old Kelly has been the Giants’ first base coach since 2008. He played 14 seasons in the majors for eight teams and was a career .290 hitter with 124 home runs and 585 RBIs. The outfielder spent his longest stint with the New York Yankees, from 1987-92 and again to finish his career in 2000.
He also played for the Reds, Braves, Expos, Dodgers, Twins, Mariners and Rangers.
Kelly was a two-time All-Star and played in 1,337 career games.
Before being promoted to his current position, Kelly managed in the Giants’ organization at Class-A Augusta for three seasons from 2005-07. He has an emphasis in baserunning and outfield defense.