Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette trying to “be smart” with head injury

NEW YORK — Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette says he’s feeling better but trying to “be smart” about his recovery from a head injury.

Bichette was removed from Thursday’s game against the Orioles in Baltimore in the bottom of the seventh inning after getting hit in the helmet by a pitch in the sixth.

The 21-year-old Bichette spoke to media Saturday in New York before Toronto’s game against the Yankees.

“More tired than usual, a little bit nauseous at times but everyday I’ve been better so that’s all I can hope for,” Bichette said when asked about his symptoms.

“I never had any head injuries and it sucks. And obviously you’ve gotta be more careful, you’ve only got one brain, so I’m just trying to be as smart as I can with it.”

Bichette was hit by a pitch from Gabriel Ynoa in the top of the sixth inning but initially stayed in the game after being assessed on the field by trainers. He made a defensive play on a ground ball in the bottom of the sixth and batted again in the top of the seventh before being replaced by Richard Urena for the bottom of the inning.

Bichette said the symptoms didn’t appear right away, but he started to feel “a little bit off” as the game went on. He credited veteran Justin Smoak with convincing him to tell the training staff about his symptoms.

“When I went out to my at bat (in the seventh inning) I felt really weird in the box, so I came back in and actually Smoaky came up to me and said ‘hey bro, are you alright?’ I was like ‘I don’t know man, I feel weird.’ And he told me ‘hey this is nothing to play around with,’” Bichette said. ”So that’s when I decided I should probably let somebody know I felt different.”

Bichette was put in MLB concussion protocol Thursday and was re-evaluated in New York on Friday.

He did not play Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees.

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said before Friday’s game that Bichette will likely miss the entirety of the series.

Bichette is batting .311 with 11 homers and 21 runs batted in through 46 games.

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