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Tigers will monitor James McCann for concussion after beaning, home plate collision

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The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky reports that the Tigers are monitoring James McCann for signs of a concussion after the catcher was roughed up in back-to-back incidents on Thursday and Friday. There’s no talk of a disabled list stint yet, nor has McCann reported any cases of nausea or dizziness, but he told reporters Saturday that sometimes the symptoms can be latent.

McCann was shaken up on a hit by pitch during Thursday’s 10-6 win over the Yankees, when a 98-MPH fastball from Dellin Betances clocked him in the head. The pitch immediately felled the catcher, who laid on the ground for several moments before standing and eventually taking his base. With emotions still running high from the previous inning’s brawl, Betances was ejected.

The second incident followed in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ series opener against the White Sox. McCann tag teamed with second baseman Ian Kinsler to catch Yolmer Sanchez as he attempted to steal home, resulting in a hard — though not illegal — collision at the plate.

While the Tigers haven’t been treating their backstop with kid gloves, they can’t afford to lose him if they intend to make a last-ditch effort to enter the AL wild card race next month. McCann isn’t just a fixture behind the dish; he’s been one of the hottest hitters in Detroit’s lineup during the second half, too, and entered Saturday’s game slashing .330/.388/.472 with three home runs and an .860 OPS through 116 PA.

Whatever the extent of head athletic trainer Kevin Rand’s concerns, it wasn’t enough to sideline McCann through the rest of the weekend series. He’s scheduled to start behind the plate when the Tigers take on the White Sox for Game 2 at 7:10 ET.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.