BOSTON – Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn was back with the team on Monday for the first time since June 4 when he suffered a brain hemorrhage in Cleveland.
He has no memory of the next two or three days.
“It was 12:15 and we're getting ready to go (to the ballpark),” he said. “In the cab I had a bad headache. It was kind radiating down my neck kind of locking up on me. I started sweating and had a bad headache. Was in the cab with the trainer and he was trying to relax my muscles. I remember going to get dressed (once he reached the ballpark) and about 1:00 on I didn't recall anything for two or three days.
“It's called a thunder clap headache, worst headache you've ever had. Thank God I was where I was and had the people around me who knew what they were doing.
“When I started remembering Friday night, I never thought I was going to die. I had my wits about me, could walk around. I didn't know that for two days. I was talking to trainers. I seemed pretty good once they relieved the pressure in my head. I had a tube stick out of my head for two weeks. But that was part of the recovery process.”
Colbrunn stayed in Cleveland for about two weeks before going home to Charleston. He will gradually resume his duties with the Sox, picking up as he can.
“Mentally and physically build it up to it and be around,” he said. “There's no certain time frame.
“The club has struggled but that's baseball. [Sunday] night was a good sign. Good AB's a lot of good things happen. I talk to Victor [Rodriguez, assistant hitting coach] a lot every day and the coaching staff. I'm not coaching from 2000 miles a way they're there on a hands-on basis. They're all doing the right thing, getting their work in, trust in the process, trust in the procedure. I know we've struggled the last month but a lot of good things happened.”
For now, he’s just taking it one day at a time.
“Build up my stamina and focus,” he said. “It's almost like coming back from a concussion. Take one day at a time and be happy that it is one day.”
• Shane Victorino, was back in the clubhouse Monday afternoon, his rehab stopped when he received an epidural in his lower back. He has played just 21 games this season. Yes, he’s frustrated. And feeling guilty.
“You guys know,” he said. “There’s no reason for me to say how frustrated I am. As I said a few weeks ago, if there’s a bigger culprit in what has gone on to this point, I’m at the top of the list by not being out there. But looking at what’s going on, I have every confidence in the guys in the clubhouse to keep continuing doing what they’re doing. And the guys who got called up. I’m excited for Mookie [Betts]. I’m excited for him to go out there. And not worried one bit [when] he’s playing right field.”
Victorino, who believes the Sox will have a good second half, does not yet have a time frame for a return. But he is hopeful it could be on this homestand.
“If it was [up to] me, I’d be out there tomorrow,” he said. “I want it to be sooner rather than later. But I think from an aspect of making sure that I’m ready and healthy to play the rest of the way, I have no time frame, no timetable. But I’m hoping by the end of this homestand, that’s my goal.”
• A day after making his major league debut in Yankee Stadium, and just before he would make his debut at Fenway Park in center field, Betts said the advice he had received from Sox coaches was pretty simple.
“Just go catch the ball,” he said.
Betts was called up on Saturday to give the Sox woeful offense a spark. He knows the expectations on him are high. For him, though, they are tempered.
“I’m not the savior,” he said. “I’m not going to say that I am. I’m just here to do my part.”
Betts is batting eighth against the Cubs Jake Arrieta in the homestand opener. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored Sunday in his debut.
“One game,” said Farrell. “I thought he controlled his at-bats very well the other night, particularly the one at-bat where he walked. I thought he battled inside the at-bat, took a couple of close pitches. Emotionally I thought he was well under control. Good bat speed. It’s one game. He looked OK.”