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Newcomb showing no concussion symptoms

Lefty exited Saturday after taking 102-mph liner off back of the head
@mlbbowman
June 16, 2019

ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb had further reason to feel fortunate when he returned to SunTrust Park Sunday morning without any signs of concussion-like symptoms. Newcomb went through the concussion protocol and passed other medical tests that were performed after he was struck in the back of the head by J.T.

ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb had further reason to feel fortunate when he returned to SunTrust Park Sunday morning without any signs of concussion-like symptoms.

Newcomb went through the concussion protocol and passed other medical tests that were performed after he was struck in the back of the head by J.T. Realmuto’s 102-mph line drive during the second inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss. But the Braves continued to monitor the left-handed pitcher throughout the night.

“I’ve had some [high school] football hits that were harder than that,” Newcomb said Sunday. “I’ve had a few concussions. Right away, when it hit me in the head and I was down on the ground, I popped up, and I knew I was alright. I knew it wasn’t too, too bad.”

Newcomb did not display any immediate concerning effects after being struck by the liner that ricocheted into the Phillies’ third-base dugout. He walked off the field without assistance and went to the clubhouse to be evaluated.

“Right away I felt pretty good,” Newcomb said. “I was with it the whole time. I remember the whole play and everything. So, I knew I was pretty good that way. I just obviously got squared up in the head. So, it was pretty sore.”

Realmuto covered his mouth with his hands as he ran toward first base on what became a ground-rule double. But almost immediately after getting hit, Newcomb attempted to convince Snitker and the Braves’ medical staff to allow him to continue pitching.

“He wanted to get up and brush it off like it hit his arm,” Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to sit here for a minute.’ Any time a ball goes up towards a pitcher with some velocity, it’s pretty scary for everybody.”

Newcomb was making his first start since returning from a demotion on May 6 to begin working out of the bullpen. This was likely going to be a spot start that allowed the recently signed Dallas Keuchel to make one more Minor League start before making his Braves debut.

While it seems likely Keuchel will take this turn when it comes up again on Friday at Nationals Park, the Braves will wait until at least Sunday before determining whether Newcomb needs to go on the injured list or simply experience the few days of rest he was already going to get after throwing 61 pitches in this start.

“I feel pretty good right now,” Newcomb said.

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