Suzuki out of starting lineup with 'sore' chin

Molitor hopeful Twins catcher could play in emergency situation

Suzuki out of starting lineup with 'sore' chin

BOSTON -- Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki was held out of Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Red Sox after receiving eight stitches to his chin Saturday, but manager Paul Molitor said he was hopeful Suzuki would be available to play in an emergency.

Suzuki, who suffered the cut to his chin after a foul tip from Dustin Pedroia hit his mask in the second inning in Saturday's 11-9 win, worked with the training staff before Sunday's game to add more padding to his mask.

"He's sore," Molitor said. "We're trying to look at ways we could protect him if he needed to play in emergency. I don't think you'd want to put too much risk in terms of splitting it back open. But he's doing OK. Just a little sore."

Suzuki, who said he had never suffered that kind of injury before while catching, added he has to keep the stitches in for 10 days, but he believes he can play through the injury. He said the foul tip jarred him a little bit, but it was mostly the cut that's the issue, as he didn't suffer a concussion.

"I'm going to manipulate the mask a little bit," Suzuki said. "But if it opens up, it opens up. What are you going to do?"

The Twins have an off-day Monday and will continue to monitor the situation. There's a chance they could call up John Ryan Murphy as a third catcher Tuesday if they believe Suzuki will be out more than a few days. But as of now, the plan is to stick with Suzuki as the emergency catcher behind Juan Centeno, who started Sunday, while infielder Eduardo Escobar is also an emergency catcher in case Suzuki can't go.

"Hopefully, I don't have to make a decision about him or Escobar," Molitor said.

Suzuki, a top candidate to be traded before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since June, and had an RBI double off the Green Monster in his lone at-bat Saturday. Suzuki is hitting .288/.325/.429 with five homers, 14 doubles and 33 RBIs in 67 games.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.