Blue Jays: Why was Bo Bichette allowed to stay in the game?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees out in the seventh inning during a MLB game at Rogers Centre on September 15, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws Gleyber Torres #25 of the New York Yankees out in the seventh inning during a MLB game at Rogers Centre on September 15, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Bo Bichette was hit on the helmet by a pitch in the sixth inning of last night’s game and unfortunately had to be lifted later on. Why was he allowed to keep playing?

A nightmare scenario played out for Blue Jays fans last night as Bo Bichette was struck on the helmet by an errant fastball in the sixth inning. Thankfully he popped up to his feet and indicated that he was okay almost immediately, and it looked like he avoided what could have been a serious injury.

The Blue Jays’ training staff came out to check up on him and had a short conversation and Bichette was allowed to stay in the game and run for himself. After playing defence as well, it was decided that he would come out of the game to undergo further concussion testing, more to be on the safe side.

For me, the question is: Why wasn’t he removed immediately after he was hit?

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I get it, Bichette indicated that he was fine, and he looked like he had avoided injury based on his quick reaction and hopping to his feet. Based on the quick eye test, he looked like he was okay, and I understand why the training staff would have thought as much.

That said, we’re talking about a September game against the Baltimore Orioles for a team that is 62-91 after Thursday night’s win. This game couldn’t matter any less, and to make it a little worse, the rosters are expanded and there are extra bodies kicking around. Richard Urena ended up coming in for Bichette before all was said and done, but why not just bring him in right away?

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I could do Nikki Huffman’s job, nor do I blame her exclusively for making the decision to let Bichette continue. But somewhere between her, Charlie Montoyo, Bichette, and the rest of the coaching staff, why didn’t someone step up and suggest that it didn’t make sense to let him continue?

The good news is that the Blue Jays are saying he was removed for “precautionary testing”, which means they are likely doing it just to be on the safe side. That’s a good idea with any player, but especially someone as important to the future of this franchise as Bo Bichette. We’ve watched concussions derail the careers of guys like Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, and former Blue Jays like Aaron Hill and even Dalton Pompey. It’s not something to mess around with, even in a non-contact sport like baseball.

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Again, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I know all of the details of the situation, or what was said between Bichette and the coaching staff. What I do know is that last night’s game is about as meaningless as it gets, and I hope the Blue Jays will take a small lesson from how things were handled. It seems like they realized it a little late, but there was no reason for him to keep playing after being hit in the head like that.

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