Yoan Moncada, Nolan Arenado Leave WBC Game Due To Injuries


The United States advanced to the final of the World Baseball Classic after tonight’s 14-2 victory over Cuba, though the game saw prominent players from both teams make early exits.  Nolan Arenado was hit in the right hand by an Elian Leyva pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning and was removed from the game.  In the bottom of the sixth, Yoan Moncada tracked back from third base in pursuit of a Kyle Schwarber fly ball, but collided with left fielder Roel Santos (who made the catch).

Moncada is the more serious situation, as at the very least, the third baseman is day-to-day with a bruised rib, as the White Sox announced during the game.  Afterwards, Cuba manager Armando Johnson told reporters (including ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez) after the game that Moncada had suffered a concussion, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted that Moncada was cleared after being treated for a possible concussion.

As for Arenado, x-rays were negative on his hand, and the Cardinals third baseman appeared to be in relatively good spirits in the dugout following the HBP.  United States manager Mark DeRosa told ESPN’s Marly Rivera and other reporters postgame that Arenado “would have fought me on” staying in the game had the score not been so lopsided.

Injuries have been an ongoing storyline of the WBC, particularly Jose Altuve’s thumb fracture that will require surgery, or Edwin Diaz’s season-threatening right knee surgery.  Losing Moncada and Arenado to significant injuries would’ve only added to the debate over the added risks posed by players’ participation in this high-intensity games, and yet naturally, risk is inevitable in any kind of competitive environment.  Given the long list of injuries suffered by players in Spring Training (either in games or in workout drills) and the random nature of injuries in general, it is hard to say that players would’ve necessarily be safer in camp with their teams than playing in the WBC.

Given the uncertainty around Moncada, the White Sox will likely keep him sidelined for at least a few days to fully monitor his health.  It’s possible this might be all Moncada needs to recover, but with Opening Day looming, the Sox will surely at least consider an injured-list placement to begin the season if Moncada’s rib problem is still lingering, or if any concussion symptoms surface.

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