Gary Sanchez Explains Being Nearly Hit in Head by Gilberto Celestino's Practice Swing

Adam WellsSeptember 5, 2022

HOUSTON, TEXAS - AUGUST 25: Gary Sanchez #24 of the Minnesota Twins doubles in the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 25, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins catcher Gary Sanchez avoided a potential disaster during Sunday's 5-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

As White Sox pitcher Kendall Graveman was warming up during the top of the eighth inning, Sanchez was heading back to the dugout to look at the scouting report when Gilberto Celestino took a full swing in the on-deck circle that nearly hit his teammate in the face.

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This was a close call 😅 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a>) <a href="https://t.co/xplIwF4LOc">pic.twitter.com/xplIwF4LOc</a>

"I had a few minutes to go and ask a couple questions about that pitcher," Sanchez told reporters through an interpreter after the game. "I saw his bat was on his shoulder just standing there in the on-deck circle, and so I went back to the dugout and I didn't notice he was swinging."

Sanchez called it "an accident," but things are "fine" with Celestino.

This situation is an uncommon one in Major League Baseball. It's more common to see players in the on-deck circle get hit, typically by a foul ball or shattered bat.

The Twins did get a run during the at-bat when Max Kepler scored on a wild pitch by Graveman.

Sanchez later struck out to end the inning, but Minnesota's win moved it into a tie with the Cleveland Guardians for first place in the American League Central.

The Twins will open up a four-game series against the New York Yankees, Sanchez's former team, at Yankee Stadium on Monday.