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Sean Newcomb placed on concussion IL

@mlbbowman
June 19, 2019

ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb will be permitted to throw side sessions and partake in normal baseball activities over the next few days, but the Braves opted to place the left-hander on the 7-day concussion injured list four days after he was hit in the back of the head with Phillies

ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb will be permitted to throw side sessions and partake in normal baseball activities over the next few days, but the Braves opted to place the left-hander on the 7-day concussion injured list four days after he was hit in the back of the head with Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto’s 102-mph line drive.

“He was working out [Tuesday] and showed effects that he hadn’t had before,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s just something when you’re dealing with that kind of injury that happens. Consequently, we’ve got to make sure he’s okay.”

With Newcomb showing post-concussion symptoms, the Braves placed him on the injured list Wednesday and recalled right-hander Huascar Ynoa, who will provide depth to a bullpen that was thinned by the two-inning appearances Touki Toussaint and Josh Tomlin made after Julio Teheran lasted just four innings in Tuesday’s loss to the Mets.

Newcomb’s transaction was made retroactive to Tuesday, meaning he will not be eligible for activation until next Tuesday, when the Braves play the second game of a four-game set at Wrigley Field. Essentially, he’ll be unavailable for at least four more games than were expected before he experienced the setback.

“[Braves head athletic trainer George Poulis] said it’s not uncommon for you to not have symptoms and then a few days later, you do,” Snitker said. “It’s something that if you ask [Newcomb], he’d probably say he feels good right now, but he didn’t yesterday.”

Newcomb is not permitted to speak to the media while on the concussion injured list, but he felt good enough Wednesday to complete a side session in the bullpen. He will likely make at least one Minor League rehab appearance before being activated.

After Newcomb was hit by the Realmuto liner that ricocheted off the net behind the third base dugout, he passed all of the initial medical tests and the Braves were planning for him to be available out of the bullpen by Friday. But given he suffered at least one previous concussion while playing high school football, there was certainly reason to take this cautious approach.

Inciarte’s progress

Ender Inciarte packed his equipment bag Wednesday and prepared to travel to the team’s Spring Training complex in North Port, Fla., where he’ll spend at least a week progressing toward a Minor League rehab assignment.

Inciarte has been sidelined with a lumbar strain since suffering the injury while sliding into second base during a May 14 game against the Cardinals. The three-time Gold Glove outfielder’s back has improved over the past week, but because there were a few recent setbacks, the Braves have not set any expectations for when Inciarte might be activated.

“He can partake in all the drills and get on the bases and kind of get his body back ready to start playing,” Snitker said. “When that time comes, he can jump in and start [being a DH in games] and then go out on a rehab assignment.”

When Inciarte returns to Atlanta’s roster, he’ll be used off the bench. His lineup spot has been capably filled by Austin Riley, who has strengthened Atlanta’s offense since debuting on May 15.

Gausman update

Kevin Gausman will also spend the next week working out in North Port. The veteran starter was placed on the injured list last week with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. The ailment was diagnosed after he completed an ugly three-start stretch, during which he allowed 25 hits and 19 runs -- 17 earned -- over just 8 1/3 innings.

While there’s a chance Gausman could eventually move to the bullpen, the Braves want him to remain stretched out in the event there’s a need to put him back in the rotation. His spot will now be filled by Dallas Keuchel, who is expected to make his Atlanta debut Friday night at Nationals Park.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.