HOUSTON -- The Tigers lost more than a back-and-forth ballgame in Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Astros. They also lost their starting catcher in the middle of a grueling road trip that includes a doubleheader Friday.James McCann, who garners the bulk of the starts in a catching mix with veteran
HOUSTON -- The Tigers lost more than a back-and-forth ballgame in Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Astros. They also lost their starting catcher in the middle of a grueling road trip that includes a doubleheader Friday.
James McCann, who garners the bulk of the starts in a catching mix with veteran Alex Avila, suffered a left hand laceration when he was hit by a Mike Fiers pitch in the fourth inning. The laceration was severe enough that he received five stitches and went on the 10-day disabled list.
John Hicks, who has played first base with the Tigers in stretches but serves as an insurance catcher in case of injury, was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. He'll start one of the games in Friday's doubleheader, with Avila catching the other.
McCann was batting in the fourth inning when Fiers' 1-0 fastball came in on his hands. McCann dropped the bat and was shaking his hand in pain as he went to first base. He was bleeding off the side of his hand, near the pinky finger, when manager Brad Ausmus and the Tigers athletic training staff came out to check.
The ball pinched [the base of the hand] against the bottom of my bat," McCann said. "It's a pretty deep cut. … It just pinched there enough, the fat of my hand against the bat. For lack of better words, it just exploded."
McCann suffered a similar injury at the end of Spring Training. In that case, though, it formed a blister rather than busting open. Thursday's injury happened in the same exact spot, he said, but the patch of skin that formed last time broke open.
"Honestly, it hurt, but when I took off my batting gloves when I got to first base, I was really surprised to see blood," McCann said. "I wasn't really expecting that. Honestly, it's a tough break. Had it not busted open, I would've stayed in the game. Nothing was preventing me from staying in the game other than the cut was so deep and I had to get stitches."
Ausmus said he doesn't expect McCann will need more than 10 days to heal.
Hicks has been up with the Tigers for two separate stints, most recently last weekend while Victor Martinez was on paternity leave. He's batting 11-for-26 with the Tigers with three doubles, a home run and seven RBIs.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.