Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Piscotty Rejoins Team Feeling 'Very, Very Fortunate'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Piscotty Rejoins Team Feeling 'Very, Very Fortunate'

Article excerpt

PITTSBURGH * All that Cardinals rookie Stephen Piscotty remembers from the seventh inning of Monday night's game ends with the fly ball going in air. His next memory is in the ambulance, coming to on the way to the hospital.

"I remember moving left and going after the ball," Piscotty said Wednesday after rejoining the team. "That's when it went dark."

In his first comments since the violent collision in left center field with teammate Peter Bourjos, Piscotty described himself as "very, very fortunate" that he didn't sustain a season-ending injury or worse. He was diagnosed with a concussion and has yet to finish a series of tests necessary to determine if he'll have lingering symptoms from the brain trauma. Piscotty also has some short-term memory loss, though he did attempt to fill in that "dark" spot in his memory by watching the replay of Bourjos' catch and their crash into each other.

Once was enough, he said.

"I knew I was fine at the time so it wasn't too hard to watch," Piscotty said. "I was more worried about my family. It didn't make me feel good. I'm sure they were watching (live) and that scared them a little bit."

Piscotty rejoined his teammates at the ballpark for Wednesday's doubleheader, less than 48 hours after the injury. According to Major League Baseball's protocols, he must complete five levels of testing before being cleared to return from his concussion. He has two remaining after a series of tests Wednesday. He'll take Thursday off with his teammates in Atlanta and then resume the process Friday before the game at Turner Field.

On Wednesday, Piscotty did some running in the outfield to test how his head felt moving around. Baseball activities will follow later.

The rookie outfielder did not have a headache or any dizziness as he worked out Wednesday, though his neck and jaw remained sore. Bourjos' knee struck Piscotty near or at the jaw, and Piscotty likened the effect to a punch delivered by a boxer. It knocked him unconscious immediately with the whiplash, but "below the head it's less dangerous (and) hopefully that's what happened. It's hard to tell exactly."

"I feel surprisingly good," he said. "Watching it, it could have been a whole heck of a lot worse. Feeling where I am right now is just the bonus."

Piscotty has hit his way into being a fixture in the Cardinals' lineup since his debut July 21. In 62 games, Piscotty has a .310 average with a .502 slugging percentage. The Cardinals have started him in all three outfield positions and at first base in an attempt to keep his bat in the lineup, but also to prepare him for a variety of places he could start during the postseason. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said it's possible that Piscotty could return to the field as soon as this weekend, the last of the regular season. …

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