A scary incident occurred during Sunday afternoon’s contest between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.
Indians Right Fielder Josh Naylor was carted off the field on a stretcher after a collision in the outfield with rookie second baseman Ernie Clement.
A shallow popup floated to right field off the bat of Jorge Polanco in the fourth inning. Both Naylor and Clement tracked down the pop fly which resulted in the pair colliding. During the collision, the 24-year-old Naylor sailed through the air and his right leg was caught underneath him, twisting his ankle the wrong way.
Naylor immediately called for medical attention and was visibly in pain in the outfield grass. He was treated for several minutes and was eventually placed in an air cast and left on a cart.
After the game, Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters that Naylor suffered a fracture and was taken to hospital for further evaluation. The full extent of Naylor’s injury and what bone was fractured is not clear, however.
“We know that there’s a fracture,” Francona told reporters. “Other than that, he’s being evaluated over at the hospital right now. We’ll know more, I hope, in a couple of hours. We’re not even sure if he can travel home with us.”
Clement, who was playing in his seventh game in the MLB was not injured during the collision.
Naylor is currently playing in his third season in the MLB, with a batting average of .251. The Canadian-born outfielder tallied seven home runs and 21 RBI this season and was on pace to pass his career-high in games in a single season, which was 94.
Naylor was drafted by the Miami Marlins in Round 1 (12th overall) of the 2015 Amateur Draft. Known as the Mississauga Masher, Naylor made his debut with the Padres back in 2019 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Throughout his amateur career, Naylor played for the Ontario Blue Jays of the PBLO, an elite travel team that regularly competed against top teams in North America. The program has also featured numerous college placements as well as MLB draftees.
The lefty represented Canada at multiple events including the U-18 Baseball World Cup, making the team as a 15-year-old.
Minnesota would drop the Indians by a score of 8-2. In the fourth inning, the same inning as Naylor’s injury, the Twins pushed 3 across the plate to extend their lead. Naylor tallied 2 at-bats before leaving the game due to injury.
The Indians are fighting for first in the AL Central, currently chasing the Chicago White Sox. Cleveland will get another crack at Minnesota on Monday before heading home to take on the struggling Detroit Tigers for a 3-game set.
At this time, the extent of Naylor’s injury is unknown and it is too early to speak of his return to the lineup.