Ouch. Check that, double ouch.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal, who has been enjoying a marvelous month of May, was forced to leave Friday’s game in the fifth inning as a precaution after taking a couple of blows to the head.
He passed a series of concussion tests in the dugout, but Manager Don Mattingly said he would be re-evaluated Saturday.
“I’m not sure if he’s out or not with a concussion,” Mattingly said. “We took him out of the game as a precaution.”
Grandal was hit on the side of the head with the bat on the follow-through of a swing by Padres first baseman Yangervis Solarte in the third inning. He remained in the game but in the fourth a foul tip off the bat of Matt Kemp struck his catcher’s mask.
Mattingly said head trainer Stan Conte gave Grandal a quick series of concussion tests after he took the bat to the side of the head.
“Stan said he passed all those and I was there when he was asking him questions,” Mattingly said. “Then he took that second one and I think Stan was a little worried about it at that point.”
Grandal batted in the fourth and lined out to deep center.
“He seemed to be OK after being hit on the side of the head with the bat,” Mattingly said. “Then he got hit the next inning again. I was just looking at him, he kind of stepped out twice during that at-bat before he hit the ball to center. Then when he came back in, I know Stan was paying close attention.”
Grandal was removed from the game but did not go to a hospital, though he did leave the game early with his wife. A.J. Ellis took over in the fifth. Ellis said he had a clear view of Solarte’s bat striking Grandal.
“That looked like a pretty good shot he took,” Ellis said.
“It just really shocks you because you’re not prepared for it. A play at the plate, you kind of brace yourself for the impact. But the foul tips and being hit by the bat, you really can’t prepare for.”
Mattingly said Ellis was previously scheduled to start Saturday against the Padres.
“Hopefully it’s nothing, but we’ll see,” Mattingly said. “As of tonight, it’s precautionary.
“He wasn’t playing tomorrow anyway. The biggest thing is they’ll assess him tomorrow and see where we’re at.”
Mattingly said the emergency backup catcher is Enrique Hernandez.
Grandal is batting .400 in May, the second-best average in the National League. He’s batting .296 overall with a .403 on-base percentage, with four home runs and 17 RBI.