Catcher Gabriel Moreno exits Diamondbacks-Brewers wild card game after taking bat to head

Oct 4, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2023, 7:44 am

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno left Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series against the Milwaukee Brewers after taking a bat to the head on Wednesday.

Brewers batter Brice Turang’s backswing in the bottom of the second inning caught the top of Moreno’s helmet.

The catcher sat on the ground and was examined by D-backs training staff and manager Torey Lovullo for several minutes. Moreno stayed in the game to close the frame but departed the dugout after it was over.

Jose Herrera replaced Moreno in Arizona’s 5-2 series-clinching win.

“Gabi is doing okay,” Lovullo said postgame. “He was talking about feeling a little bit dizzy immediately upon getting hit. … I wasn’t gonna be satisfied until he caught some balls and felt like that dizziness had gone away which he said it did. But once he got into the dugout, our team doctors examined him and said that he needed to come out.”

Lovullo said Moreno had not entered the concussion protocol and was hopeful he would not have to.

Moreno was in the clubhouse celebrating with his teammates after the win, and general manager Mike Hazen also expressed optimism the catcher will avoid missing time.

“He had some dizziness when he came out of the game, but we’ll see if that subsides as we go through the night,” Hazen said. “Obviously, if he tests that he has a concussion, we’ll put him on the concussion (injured list). That’s not what I’m hearing right now. But we have to wait.”

Moreno, 23, had already made his impact known in the wild card series, hitting a solo home run in Game 1 that gave Arizona the go-ahead run in an eventual 6-3 win on Tuesday.

He and Carroll became the first pair of teammates in MLB history who were 23 years old or younger to homer in their playoff debut in the same game, according to OptaSTATS.

While Moreno is the primary catcher for the Diamondbacks, he has been a force at the plate all year as well.

Moreno slashed .290/.342/.745 this season with 50 RBIs, the latter of which was fifth-most on the team for the regular season.

Arizona’s wild card roster does not have a third catcher on the roster, which would put the D-backs in a pickle if Herrera were to get hurt.

Seby Zavala, who took on the backup catcher role down the stretch, is not postseason eligible since he joined the organization after the Sept. 1 deadline. Other options were in Triple-A Reno, such as Ali Sanchez.

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