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Johnny Cueto hit in the head by a line drive, but appears to be unharmed

Giants Spring Baseball

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto puts on a cap before practice for the spring baseball season in Scottsdale, Ariz., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

AP

The Giants-Athletics Cactus League exhibition game had just started and things immediately went downhill for starter Johnny Cueto. Billy Burns ripped his first pitch back up the middle, striking Cueto in the head. It appeared to be a glancing blow, and the right-hander stayed in after being attended to by team trainer Dave Groeschner. Burns stood on second base with a double.

The next batter, Mark Canha, hit a slow chopper between first base and the pitcher’s mound. Cueto couldn’t decide whether to commit to fielding the ball or to cover first base, so Canha ended up reaching safely. Josh Reddick promptly deposited a three-run home run over the fence in right field for a quick 3-0 lead.

Cueto was able to settle down from there, striking out Danny Valencia, then inducing consecutive ground outs from Stephen Vogt and Khris Davis.

It appears that Cueto will be fine, but not all head trauma presents immediately. The Giants will certainly have him go through concussion protocol after the game. Still, one wonders why they risked keeping him in what is really a meaningless game.

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