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SAN FRANCISCO – Five Giants minor league prospects were counting their blessings along with scrapes and bruises after being released from a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday.
Left-hander Bryce Bandilla, right-hander Jeff Soptic, right-hander Daniel Slania, left-hander Adalberto Mejia and infielder Kelby Tomlinson were among 11 players riding in a van that was involved in a two-car accident on Scottsdale Road.
They were treated at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center for minor injuries and released after X-rays and CT scans came back negative, Bandilla told CSNBayArea.com. A couple of the players had concussion symptoms, Bandilla said.
But mostly, they considered themselves fortunate.
“I know it could have been a lot worse than it was,” said Bandilla, a fourth-round pick in 2011 out of Arizona who throws in the upper 90s.
The Giants issued a statement saying all five players "are resting comfortably at the team hotel and will be checked by team doctors over the next 24 hours."
The van was pulling out of a team hotel on Scottsdale Road when its front and left side was struck by a Kia Sedan. The Associated Press quoted Scottsdale Battalion Chief Rod Thompson as saying that one person’s injuries “are considered critical and possibly life-threatening.”
It’s possible that Thompson could have been referring to the driver of the sedan.
The Giants were issuing precautionary ImPACT concussion tests to the other players on the van who weren’t hospitalized, said Giants minor league coach Derin McMains. Those players who weren’t involved were distressed by the news, too.
“We met with the guys who are here and you can imagine everyone is pretty shaken up,” McMains said. “You try to figure out how some good can come of this. You see how quickly everything can be taken from you.”
The minor leaguers who were arriving in Scottsdale over the past few days represent the club’s best prospects who aren’t yet on the 40-man roster – including highly touted pitchers like Kyle Crick, Chris Stratton, and Derek Law. They were in Scottsdale for a three-week conditioning camp.
Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of the camp. Giants officials decided to make it a day off, instead.
“Let them talk about it, give them time,” said Shane Turner, who was recently promoted to replace Fred Stanley as farm director from his previous role as director of minor league instruction. “We’ll be very cautious and make sure everything is OK.”
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