Cleveland has placed catcher Austin Hedges on the 7-day concussion injured list and promoted veteran backstop Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Columbus to take his place. To make room on the 40-man roster, Jordan Luplow has been bumped to the 60-day injured list.
Hedges is the second Cleveland catcher to end up on the injured list this season, joining Roberto Pérez, who underwent surgery back in May to repair a fractured finger. It seems safe to assume that the source of his concussion was the Justin Dunn fastball that struck his head in the team’s 7-0 win over the Mariners on Friday, June 11. He was pulled from the game shortly thereafter for precautionary reasons and was cleared to play in at least two games since then.
His plate production has been nothing to write home about, slashing .144/.205/.240 in 115 plate appearances up to this point, but the organization values his glove far more than his bat. Now, the club will have to rely on Rene Rivera and Ryan Lavarnway for the time being.
Lavarnway is your textbook journeyman catcher. He made his big league debut with the Red Sox back in 2011 and has bounced around the league since then, playing for nine other teams in the last decade. He was a member of the Marlins last season and slashed .364/.364/.364 in 11 at-bats during a brief stint in Miami before electing to become a free agent at the end of the season. Lavarnway signed a minor league contract with Cleveland in February and boasts a .258/.313/.863 slash line in 89 at-bats for the Clippers this season.
Luplow’s move to the 60-day injured list likely means we won’t see him again until late July.