Catcher was removed from game for precautionary reasons after blow to head
By Ben Harris
PHILADELPHIA -- The sixth inning of Saturday's extra-inning 7-4 loss to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park was likely the last we'll see of Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro in 2017 after the backstop took a heavy shot to the head in a collision at home plate.
Phillies right fielder Nick Williams settled under the one-out Travis d'Arnaud flyout to right, crow-hopping and firing home to nab Juan Lagares tagging from third. Alfaro ranged to his left up the third-base line, receiving the ball on a fly and applying the tag to Lagares as he passed.
At the same time, Lagares' tucked left elbow made flush contact with the right side of Alfaro's head, knocking his mask clean off and sending the 24-year-old catcher spinning to the ground. A scary moment set in as Alfaro -- who has made a good impression since his August callup, hitting .318 with a .514 slugging percentage -- laid face-down on the ground before a trainer came out. Alfaro ultimately walked off the field under his own power.
"Alfaro made a great tag," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "But he hit the back of his head. I just took him out for precautionary reasons."
There was no obvious intent by Lagares, as he had tucked his arm into his body to brace for any contact. He did not throw an elbow or extend his arm to disrupt Alfaro.
Alfaro spent the rest of the game in the dugout, and was checked on by medical personnel.
"I think he's going to be fine," Mackanin said. "The doctor checked him, but we'll know more tomorrow. He told me he was fine, but I didn't want to take any chances."
Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.