Casali likely done for year following concussion

Casali likely done for year following concussion

BOSTON -- Rays catcher Curt Casali had to leave Wednesday night's game against the Red Sox after taking a foul tip off his facemask for the second time in three pitches.

The rookie catcher suffered a concussion and will likely miss the remainder of the season.

Brandon Gomes was pitching to Rusney Castillo with two outs in the fourth inning when Castillo twice fouled Gomes' offerings into Casali's mask. The second one forced Casali out of the game.

"I didn't feel very good after that second one," Casali said. "I didn't feel good after the first one. I was telling the trainers, I think if the two happened to be separated a little bit more, if there had been some time in between the two pitches it would have been OK. But just the fact it happened in three pitches hit the nail on the head, took me out."

Casali went down behind home plate and was quickly joined by a Rays trainer and manager Joe Maddon before they ushered him away from the field.

"I think it just happened to be a combination of the two that took it out of me," Casali said. "They both hit me really good. I can't even remember what pitches they were, but Castillo fouled them off pretty good. They must have hit similar spots on my face. They both hurt."

Casali allowed that he did not sleep well Wednesday night.

"But today, I feel a lot better," he said. "I'm not really sensitive to light or anything like that. I don't have a headache today, just kind of a groggy feeling today. Just feel a little out of it. I don't know what the plan is going forward. I don't know if I'm inactive or can play or not. I'll see how it feels maybe tomorrow, if they'll let me go through some activities and sneak in one more game before the season ends."

When told that Maddon said he was done for the season after Wednesday night's game, Casali noted: "It could change. I'm not exactly sure how it works with September and no DLs and stuff like that."

Casali had a concussion test Wednesday night.

"[The doctor] thought I had a concussion and just to take it easy for a couple of days and reevaluate," Casali said. "Obviously, I wish we had more time this season that I could get back out there. The timing of the incident is kind of unfortunate for me, but we'll see how it goes. I don't think I'm going to do too much today. In terms of hitting. I think they just want me to take it easy and reevaluate tomorrow.

"I don't have a headache, which is great, because this is my second one. And the first time I was out of it for probably three days in a dark room. So this is definitely a lesser [problem]. So that's encouraging."

Casali's first concussion came in 2012 when he played for the Tigers affiliate at Class A Lakeland and he missed "10 or 11 days" after getting run over at the plate.

Maddon did not sound any more optimistic Thursday than he did Wednesday night concerning whether Casali could return for one more game this season.

"That's up to the medical side," Maddon said. "From what I saw yesterday, what I know of it, I would doubt it. [Head athletic trainer] Ronnie [Porterfield] would have to be very convincing through the doctors. And I'm not anticipating that."

If, indeed, Casali's season is over, Maddon said he made a "very good" impression.

"Game caller, really good," Maddon said. "He follows the game plan well. He really does. You give him something to work with and he's got great retention skills. Receives the ball well. Blocks the ball well. Threw the ball well and then there were times he hit it well, too. … I don't know that the guy's going to be an everyday catcher. But if he were your backup, you're doing pretty good."

Casali's absence will leave the catching duties for the remainder of the season up to Ryan Hanigan, Jose Molina and, perhaps, infielder Sean Rodriguez, who is the emergency catcher.

"They're going to have to play," Maddon said. "We have Hanny tonight and Jamo's going to have to get out there, too. Neither one of them is at 100 percent. But that's the way it's going to be. Curt's out, Sean is No. 3. He's been No. 3 all year, but this time we may actually see No. 3 at some point."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.