Late last night, following the Twins win over the Tigers, Joe Mauer was placed on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms. After taking a particularly hard foul tip off the face mask thanks to Ike Davis, which left Mauer with a bruise on his forehead, the front office reports that he "felt out of sorts."
"The Detroit doctor examined him and did some tests and found he had some concussion-like symptoms," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "For him, it was mainly he felt dizzy and out of sorts. He did the baseline test and they were pretty certain he had the symptoms of a possible concussion. The doctor felt like he should he go on the seven-day DL, and we agreed with that."
Justin Morneau, someone who has had the unfortunate experience of how a concussion can affect a player's abilities long-term, knew something was amiss as he watched Mauer taking grounders in preparation for what would have been a start at first base on Tuesday night.
"I saw him taking ground balls and he said he felt like he was out of it," Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said. "He missed a couple ground balls, and he’s usually pretty solid over there. I couldn’t tell if they were taking bad hops but it’s not something you usually see from him. I think that’s when he knew something wasn’t quite right."
When it comes to Mauer, things are going to matter just a little bit more. In relative terms it's an unfortunate side effect of being so good: players who aren't as good may not get as much notice paid for the same issues. We've documented here when other Twins players have gone on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms, but certainly the national media will take note of this one.
To fill the space on the roster, Chris Colabello will take yet another turn with the Twins. He's hit four Major League homers this season, occasionally flashing the power that made him such a force in the Independent League and such a good hitter in the minors for the Twins, but the triple slash hasn't played out too well yet. With auditions ongoing for who deserves a shot at a roster spot next season, the opportunities are limited for Colabello.
Concussions are such a serious and complex issue. Here's hoping that Joe is well enough to return from action next week.