RED SOX BLOG
One night after head injury, Saltalamacchia back in the lineup
May 19, 2012 9:41 pm
PHILADELPHIA -- Sporting an ugly cut on his ear lobe that required 12 stitches to close, Jarrod Saltalamacchia nevertheless was back in the Red Sox lineup on Saturday and pronounced himself good to go.
Saltalamacchia didn't look any worse for wear, either: He singled in the second inning, homered in the fourth inning and doubled in the eighth inning.
A Daniel Bard fastball hit Ty Wigginton on the forearm and then hit Saltalamacchia on the side of the head on Friday night, knocking the catcher face-first into the dirt. He was taken to the hospital for stitches and to undergo concussion testing -- tests that came back negative.
"I didn't have any kind of symptoms," he said. "I didn't have a headache. I didn't have any kind of pain.
"The biggest thing they were worried about was a fracture back here," he went on, touching the back of his head behind his ear. "The CT scan showed nothing. I'm good to go."
Saltalamacchia did not expect to wear any extra padding or protection on the spot where he was hit. The freak nature of the injury -- and the path the ball had to take to strike him in that spot -- was such that it seems unlikely it will happen again.
"The chances of it happening again, I can't imagine -- probably slim," he said.
One option for Saltalamacchia would have been to try a hockey mask-style catcher's mask, the style worn by St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina. That's not something he wanted to do.
"I did it in high school and I didn't mind it, but they're just so heavy," he said. "After foul ball after foul ball, it's louder than most people think. I stopped using it because it was so damn loud."
There was one upside to the injury.
"He can't hear me talk anymore with that messed-up ear," Dustin Pedroia said. "It's good for him."