June 23, 2024

Minor-league catcher released from hospital after being hit in head by backswing


Triple A Buffalo Bisons catcher Payton Henry was discharged from the hospital Saturday and is doing well after taking a backswing to the head Friday night against the Syracuse Mets at NBT Bank Stadium.

The Bisons — the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays — announced the update Saturday, one day after Henry was stretchered off the field and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Henry was hit by a backswing from Syracuse third baseman Pablo Reyes and immediately fell to the ground. He rolled onto his back and was quickly tended to by Buffalo medical staff, who carried him off the field after a delay.

The game was called after that, with the Mets — who held a 4-2 lead — taking the official win.

On Saturday, Blue Jays manager John Schneider called the incident “scary.”

“Hate seeing that. For one Payton is such an unbelievable human and person, so you hate seeing that. As a former catcher, too, you kind of know what that’s like,” Schneider said. “He’s doing all right, which is a good thing, but that’s all we have. He’s trending in the right direction.”

In a statement released Saturday, the Bisons expressed their gratitude to the Syracuse Mets and the medical support team at Upstate University Hospital “for their assistance and support for Payton in his time of need.”

Henry’s injury is the latest in what has been an uptick in catcher injuries around professional baseball.

In late April, Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe dealt with a badly bruised shoulder that left him hardly able to lift his arm after getting bounced by a foul ball. A week later, he left a game with a right hand contusion after taking a foul ball off it.

San Francisco Giants catcher Patrick Bailey took a foul ball on the exposed area of the toe where the foot shield doesn’t cover in April. Three days later, he landed on the concussion injured list after taking a foul ball to the face mask.

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Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras was struck by the swing of New York Mets’ J.D. Martinez in early May, sustaining a fractured left arm because of it.

“There’s always a risk being a catcher,” Contreras said after the injury. “Could have been something different. It could’ve been off my knee, it could be a concussion. That risk is always going to be there.”

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(Photo: Scott Winters / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)





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