CLEVELAND, Ohio — Indians catcher Austin Hedges is OK after getting hit in the head by a 93 mph fastball.
When manager Terry Francona talked to reporters Saturday morning he was “99.9%’ certain that Hedges was OK. Hedges had one more test to clear in MLB’s concussion protocol as Francona was talking to reporters.
It was evident that Hedges cleared that hurdle because he took batting practice before Saturday’s game against the Mariners. He was not in the starting lineup.
Hedges was hit in the head — thank goodness for batting helmets — Friday by a fastball from Seattle’s Justin Dunn in the third inning. He stayed in the game, but left in the fifth because he was feeling “funny” said Francona.
Even before that the wheels were turning.
Rene Rivera replaced Hedges, leaving the Indians without a backup catcher. At that moment, utility man Yu Chang became the Indians’ emergency catcher.
“Chang said he caught in high school and that was good enough for me,” said Francona. “We actually got him a mask last night during the game and I think the guys had some fun with it. But that’s not a good feeling.”
The Indians put in a call to the Class AAA Clippers who were playing the Triple-A Cubs in Iowa. If Hedges had to go on the injured list before Saturday’s game, they needed another catcher. Ryan Lavarnway jumped on a plane and flew to Cleveland…