Twins catcher — strike that, designated hitter — Ryan Doumit on Thursday was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the Twins’ 8-2 loss to the Athletics. He has not caught a single game since coming off the concussion DL on Aug. 16.
In fact, as September neared and talk of calling up reinforcements from the minors came up, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Doumit would probably keep his catching equipment locked away the rest of the year. The decision was made so Doumit didn’t risk taking another baseball off his facemask.
“It was 100 percent a factor,” Doumit said. “You see guys who are dealing with concussions and it has taken a long time for them to come back. I’ve had concussions in the past. At this point, it is not worth getting back there and taking another one and spend a whole offseason trying to recover. It’s the safe route.”
Doumit has had two stints on the disabled list in his career because of concussions but said he’s taken so many foul balls off his head that that number easily could be more.
Concussions are a growing problem in baseball, and a rash of them have happened to catchers. MLB is expected to look into ways to protect them better. Doumit is one of the many catchers who have used the lighter, titanium hockey-style masks. But he’s thinking about switching to the heavier cage mask — unless the league comes up with something safer.
That’s right, Doumit plans to get back behind the plate next season.
“Absolutely,” he said. “At this point, I just wasn’t going to take the risk.”
As for the other catcher …
Doumit named several catchers who have been slowed by concussions this season.
“And look at what Joe is going through,” Doumit said.
Joe Mauer experienced a setback on Wednesday in his concussion recovery. He felt bad after a workout and was sent home. Mauer returned to Target Field on Thursday and worked out during the game.
“Everything was good,” said Gardenhire, who spoke with trainers, not Maurer directly. “He left feeling good.”
Mauer left the ballpark before the game was over.
Deduno surgery likely
The Twins haven’t made an official announcement about righthander Samuel Deduno, but Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said it is likely Deduno will have arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.
“There is a good chance that we are going to scope that thing,” Ryan said. “Until we finalize it with all the parties involved, and Sammy has been informed of it, we’re leaning toward it.”
Deduno battled shoulder soreness late in the season and was pulled from his start on Aug. 29 when the staff noticed a dropoff in the quality of Deduno’s pitches.