Tigers catcher Alex Avila has taken a tremendous beating behind home plate over the years. He seems to catch more foul tips, bats-on-the-backswing and just about every other thing catchers suffer back there. Avila suffered another concussion in the Tigers’ ALDS Game 3 loss to the Orioles, but he says that he’s going to be fine for the start of spring training and has given no thought to retirement:
“No,” he said. “I’ve had three mild concussions in my career. I had a CT scan and an MRI checking my brain and my neck and the arteries leading to it, and everything checks out normal and healthy. And talking with the neurologist that examined everything, I shouldn’t have any concern.
“It’s like any injury — you have to let it heal 100 percent.”
That phrase — “mild concussions” — is considered by many to be a misleading term, as brain injuries are brain injuries and all of them are serious. Of course, if Avila is given a green light and feels healthy to play, he’s obviously going to play.
It sure would be nice, though, if he could catch a break back there once in a while instead of oh-so-many blows to the head.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.
Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.
Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.
The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.