Baseball / Sports

Carlos Santana evaluated for concussion; Nick Swisher hurts other knee

CHICAGO -- Carlos Santana is being evaluated for a concussion and Nick Swisher injured his other knee Monday, which could cost manager Terry Francona two switch-hitters for Tuesday night's game against Chicago White Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale.

Santana took a foul ball off his catcher's mask Sunday in Baltimore. Set to play Monday versus the White Sox at designated hitter, he was scratched just minutes before the game. In 2012, Santana was hit in the mask and spent seven days on the concussion disabled list.

"We don't know if he's sick or he has concussion-like symptoms, so we sent him back to the hotel," Francona said Monday.

Swisher missed two games against the Orioles with a sore right knee he hurt rounding first base last week. Then against the White Sox he injured his left knee in the sixth inning as he tried to beat out a grounder to third. David Murphy pinch-hit for him in the eighth.

"My right knee started feeling better and I took off flying down the line and hit the bag," Swisher said. "Doc checked, all ligaments are good, but he said we'll know a lot more tomorrow. If it's not one thing it's another."

Francona said Swisher already had a medical checkup scheduled for Thursday's off day.

Swisher, limping in the clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field, sounded frustrated by the latest setback.

"I want to be out there fighting with the guys," he said. "Everybody's banged up right now."

Second baseman Jason Kipnis was to finish his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers on Monday night and fly to Chicago today. But Francona said before Monday's game he wouldn't start Kipnis today and wasn't sure he'd be activated. He may have to rethink that plan.

Kipnis has been on the disabled list since May 2 with a strained right oblique.

"He wanted to play today, so he's kind of raring to go," Francona said.

What about Manny? --The Chicago Cubs hired Manny Ramirez on Sunday to serve as a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa, but he will be mainly used to tutor the Cubs young hitters.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera seemed to think Ramirez can do it.

"He was one of the best hitters in this league. I don't know. I think he's going to do well," Cabrera said.

Asked whether that knowledge can be translated to minor-leaguers, Cabrera said, "Maybe. Maybe not. Most of those people don't know how to teach guys. Sometimes it's hard, that's what I hear."

Francona managed Ramirez with the Red Sox and is close with Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations and the former general manager of the Red Sox. But Francona didn't want to give his opinion.

"I've got my hands full being the manager of this team, I don't need to be the GM of another team," Francona said. "I did exchange texts with Theo yesterday in fun. And he was probably funnier than I was."

Encouraging day -- Indians right-hander Zach McAllister, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a low back strain Thursday, threw a bullpen session of more than 50 pitches Monday. He was pleased that he was able to keep his fastball down, a problem in his last three starts.

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