Jose Abreu offered a thumbs-up assessment late Monday as the White Sox appeared to have dodged the worst case following a “nasty” collision between Willy Garcia and Yoan Moncada, the top prospect in baseball.
“Moncada, very good,” Abreu said.
Fearing the worst, the White Sox took a collective deep breath in the moments after a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the Toronto Blue Jays as word arrived that Moncada appears to have avoided any significant damage to his right knee while Garcia was alert and conscience after he was struck in the head. While he has a welt on the right side of his face and doesn’t remember any of the nerve-wracking sequence because he was knocked out cold, Garcia -- who will be re-examined on Tuesday -- reported feeling better. Meanwhile, team officials said Moncada’s right knee contusion won’t require an MRI and an X-ray taken immediately after the fifth-inning collision was negative.
“Both of them are actually alert and doing well,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Willy's alert and doing well. We'll continue to reevaluate and see how it looks tomorrow. I'm sure we'll have a better idea but actually, they're both doing well. As we get the evaluations, we'll know exactly where we might sit.
“The doctors were in there, they checked. Again, we're going to wait until tomorrow to see where (Garcia is) at but he's doing fine. Obviously, a blow to the head, you're concerned about a concussion. I'm sure that all the appropriate measures we're taken to evaluate that.
“(Moncada) was just the impact to his lower quad area above the knee, more (from) impact than anything.
“Other than that, the follow-up like anybody after an injury, you want to make sure they're OK. “He's going to be sore from the impact. Willy took the brunt of it.”
That the White Sox were able to share a few smiles in the aftermath is in stark contrast to every emotion they experienced in the moments after the fifth-inning collision in shallow right.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Toronto’s Darwin Barney dumped a fly ball into shallow right field. Moncada drifted back in pursuit while Garcia raced in. Garcia slid and temporarily had possession of the ball before the two collided, Moncada’s right knee landing a direct impact on Garcia’s right cheek. Garcia ultimately dropped the ball and both men crumpled to the ground with little movement from either afterward. After several minutes, Garcia got up and walked off the field under his own power. But Moncada had to be carted off the field as he never put any weight on his right leg.
“I didn’t know who to assist at the moment,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It was bad, really ugly. If you saw the play at the first moment, you’re not going to think that they would be good after that. Thank God they are, and that’s something that we have to be happy about.”
Garcia had no recollection of the collision until he saw the replay. The outfielder said his condition had improved as the night went on. But Garcia wasn’t sure if he had to undergo any concussion protocol.
“I got knocked out right away,” Garcia said through an interpreter. “I didn’t remember what happened until the doctors started asking me questions here, and then I saw the video.
“When I saw the video, I saw the collision, I was like, ‘Wow, that was hard.’ ”
Matt Davidson didn’t see the collision at first. Davidson, who capped the team’s six-run comeback with a two-out, game-winning single in the ninth inning, only saw the aftermath when the replay showed on the scoreboard in center. He too was astonished that both players were in good spirits after the game.
“It happened so fast,” Davidson said. “that replay was pretty nasty. I’m glad everybody is all right and not too severely injured.”
Watch Moncada be carted off the field in the video below.