Catcher comes forward with symptoms; Houston calls up Centeno
By Christian Boutwell
HOUSTON -- One day after the Astros sent Dallas Keuchel to the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Sunday it placed Keuchel's catcher, Brian McCann, on the seven-day concussion DL (retroactive to Saturday).
At the earliest, McCann will be eligible to return on Saturday against Baltimore. McCann will begin concussion rehab Sunday through monitored heart rate workouts, manager A.J. Hinch said.
"I don't know what goes into this and what's the difference between what takes seven days or what takes 10 days or what takes longer," Hinch said. "We're committed to getting him right and taking care of him. … To give a timeline right now, it's guaranteed to be seven days. Whether that's the mark or whether it's longer, it's a little complicated with the catching position. We'll have to determine that as we go."
McCann was diagnosed with a concussion on Saturday by the Astros after reporting that he wasn't feeling well to Hinch. Hinch said he couldn't pinpoint a direct instance when the concussion occurred, but he linked to a likely cause: when McCann absorbed a 97-mph fastball -- foul tipped slightly by Aaron Judge -- to the left side of his facemask during the fourth inning in the second game of a doubleheader in New York last Sunday. McCann caught Tuesday in Miami and Friday against Cleveland.
"The fact that he did come forward, he had to obviously have hit rock bottom or a couple days of not feeling great," Hinch said. "He did the right thing."
Prior to hitting the DL, McCann led the Astros -- and all American League catchers -- with 25 RBIs. He is second among AL catchers in on-base percentage (.365) and third in home runs with six.
Juan Centeno will join the club from Triple-A Fresno, filling the roster spot in McCann's absence. In 22 games for Fresno, Centeno batted .368 with seven doubles and nine RBIs. He was riding a 16-game hitting streak.
Centeno, who hit .261 in 55 games with the Twins in 2016, will catch one of the next two games against the Tigers, said Hinch, who is "very comfortable with him" behind the dish.
"It got me by surprise. I was with my son, hanging out on the field [in Fresno], and got that call," Centeno said. "I've got to go catch these bullpens and talk about how they've been pitching and what they want to use on different counts, try to get back in the same routine as Spring Training. … Getting the opportunity to be here is amazing."
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.