On Thursday, the Blue Jays made a somewhat expected announcement, confirming that Dalton Pompey will be shut down for awhile because of a concussion sustained in the World Baseball Classic.
As much as it’s fun to watch out beloved MLB players competing in a tournament like the World Baseball Classic, it always brings the apprehension that someone will get hurt, while on loan from their MLB teams.
That’s exactly what’s happened for Canadian outfielder, Dalton Pompey.
Pompey sustained a concussion earlier in the week, as he attempted to steal second base. At the time, he appeared to be okay as he stayed in the game and went back on defence, but was replaced in the next inning.
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On Thursday, we learned that Pompey will have to go through the MLB’s concussion protocol before he can return to the field. It was expected that Pompey would be removed from the WBC roster, but the point is moot now, as Team Canada has been eliminated from the tournament.
Shifting back to the MLB, Pompey was expected to compete for the left field job in Toronto, even if he was considered more of a long shot than some of the other options. Now that he’ll have to miss the next few weeks at a minimum, his chances are next to none.
The 24 year old didn’t appear to be badly hurt on the play, but after having suffered a concussion in Triple A Buffalo last year, the team will have to be extra cautious with him going forward. It appeared that the injury occurred as Pompey banged his face into the dirt on the slide, and not because of a collision with an infielder.
While the WBC is great for generating excitement about the upcoming MLB season, it’s hard not to have a, “I told you so!” attitude when something like this happens. In the case of Pompey, he may have increased his stock a little bit with his strong play on the world stage, but how much will the injury hurt his future?
Granted, it’s a minor concussion, but the ramifications could be far more significant than they appear. Pompey had looked good this spring, especially in the WBC, and it’s possible he was positioning himself to make the Blue Jays out of spring training, especially with a few injuries to projected starters.
Imagine Pompey starts the season as the left-fielder and plays like he did in the WBC. Do you think the Blue Jays would have sent him down if they found an in-house version of what they were looking for in free agency this offseason?
I realize Pompey wasn’t exactly a lock to make the team, but this injury takes the opportunity out of his hands, at least in the immediate future, and that’s a shame. I have no doubt the talented youngster will get healthy and eventually find his way to the MLB this year, and hopefully it won’t set him back for long.