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Alex Avila suffers concussion after being hit in head by backswing

Jun 7, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Alex Avila AP AP

Tigers catcher Alex Avila was forced to leave last night’s game against the Red Sox in the eighth inning after he was hit in the head by David Ortiz‘s backswing. You can watch the play here. According to Chris Iott of, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after the game that Avila suffered what was termed as a “mild concussion.”

“Right now, we’re not really sure on the status,” Ausmus said. “They’re calling it a mild concussion, mild to the extent that they think he’ll be fine tomorrow. That being said, he won’t play tomorrow, regardless. But they do think he’s going to be fine tomorrow.”

Avila has had concussions in the past, including one which resulted in a stint on the 7-day disabled list last year, so the Tigers won’t take any chances. Bryan Holaday will fill in behind the plate for now.

Avila, 27, is batting .217/.341/.370 with four home runs and 13 RBI over 47 games this season.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Is Scherzer going to throw inside to Ortiz today to move him off the plate? If he does so, will Ortiz complain?

    • historiophiliac - Jun 7, 2014 at 12:58 PM

      No one retaliated last night after it happened. Big Papi went 1-4 and his average would’ve made him the 7th best hitter on the Tigers roster, so I guess that’s enough. I think we prefer to focus on the fact that Holaday came into the game and hit his first big league triple. Papi didn’t hit Avila intentionally; baseball happens. Who wants to get sucked into drama with the AL Braves?

  2. toledotigerfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Mild concussions are ones that happen to other people. If it happens to you, it’s a concussion, period.

  3. pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    I swear Avila gets beat up behind the plate more than any other catcher. No idea why, as he doesn’t seem to do anything particularly different than other guys… it just seems like he gets drilled by foul tips every game he plays, and gets clipped by a back-swing at least once every week or two.

    • 9foldmuse - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Hector Sanchez seems to be the NL’s ball-magnet, plus they make him catch Lincecum. He probably looks like a leopard in the showers.

  4. Minoring In Baseball - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    I swear, Avila takes a beating like no other catcher. No wonder the Tigers took a good number of catchers in this seasons’ draft.

  5. oldnimitz - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    I believe in An Eye for an Eye – Give Alex the Bat and let him whack Ortiz ….I’d pay to see it!

  6. bolweevils2 - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    I think batters should be held responsible for hitting catchers on the follow through, the same as catchers are held responsible for interfering with a batter’s swing. If hit the catcher on the follow through, you’re out.

    It would almost never happen if batters didn’t let go of the bat with one hand on their follow through, and there is no reason for them to let go with one hand. The swing is over at that point, it has no impact on whether you hit the ball or not. Will it be a tough adjustment for players used to doing it? Sure, for a generation until all players are taught not to let go. But you’d at least be eliminating one of the big causes of catcher concussions.

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