In the middle of what should be a nice easy Saturday win, the Yankees got quite a scare out of their catcher. Austin Romine was taken out after five innings behind the plate after he was nailed in the mask by a foul tip off the bat of Richard Urena:
Romine took a ball to the face and was out on his feet for a little bit. Stays in the game. Call me soft, but its 7-0. Take him out and let Higgy finish up. pic.twitter.com/cLa8lYtZKX— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) August 18, 2018
You can see how uneasy Romine was, needing the support of umpire David Rackley to stay even somewhat vertical. What that clip doesn’t show is Romine spending a number of minutes on the ground immediately after, being tended to by the training staff. He really didn’t look good at all.
Kyle Higashioka has taken over catching duties, with Romine pulled in between innings. It’s unclear right now what exactly is wrong with Romine, or if this is just precautionary. Obviously, given the impact and reaction, the immediate fear is a concussion. We’ve seen other catchers battle head injuries over the past few years and sometimes the effects never wear off. Hopefully Romine is just pulled as a worry in a game where the Yankees were up by seven at the time.
With Gary Sanchez already on the disabled list, and not starting his rehab assignment until later this week, this is obviously about as bad an injury scare as the Yankees can have right now. Two catchers requiring DL stints would be a rare occurrence, and as we’ve seen with Clint Frazier’s concussion symptoms, this particular kind of injury can be notoriously unpredictable. For now, it looks like Ronald Torreyes will serve as an emergency backup catcher.
We’ll update with more information once we learn more about the extent of Romine’s injury.