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.