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Giancarlo Stanton: Hitting Masahiro Tanaka in head with liner ‘a terrible moment’

Giancarlo Stanton understandably admitted this week that he remains shaken from what occurred over the weekend at Yankee Stadium when he struck teammate Masahiro Tanaka in the head with a line drive, calling it a “terrible moment.”

The incident occurred Saturday during a simulated game. The New York Yankees slugger scorched a screaming liner right back up the middle. Tanaka had no time to react and the Yankees pitcher was left crumpled on the mound after being struck by the baseball on the right side of the head.

“You never want to see your teammate on the ground, especially by the hand of yourself,” Stanton said, per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.

Tanaka provided an encouraging update via social media Saturday night, tweeting that he was “all good” and aims “to get back on the mound ASAP!”

Stanton of course had a similarly frightening experience of his own when he was gruesomely injured after being hit in the face by a pitch during the 2014 season while still with the Marlins.

“As fast as it happens it is more slow-mo,’’ Stanton said Monday on a Zoom call from Yankee Stadium ahead of the club’s first intrasquad game in which Stanton was a DH for the Yankees team against the Bombers, per the New York Post. “For me, you see it in slow-mo and you want that ball to keep veering off and it didn’t, kind of like when I got hit. Everything is kind of like slow-mo; look how fast it happened later. At the end of the day I was glad he was awake, functioning and responsive.’’

Tanaka unsurprisingly was placed in concussion protocol, but Yankees manager Aaron Boone has indicated that Tanaka is recovering well and even worked out on Monday. It nevertheless remains uncertain whether Tanaka will have fully recovered by the time the Yankees open their season on July 23 against the world champion Washington Nationals.