Second concussion could end Sanchez's season

Second concussion could end Sanchez's season
August 19, 2014, 4:30 pm
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This is scary because of the level of impact the last two have had on him.
Brian Sabean on Hector Sanchez's concussions

CHICAGO – Hector Sanchez was diagnosed with a second concussion and Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged the switch-hitting catcher’s season could be over.

“Sure, it has to be (a possibility) with the second one,” Bochy said of Sanchez, who took another foul tip off the mask in a rehab game for Triple-A Fresno on Saturday.

Sanchez was evaluated by Giants physician Dr. Anthony Saglimbeni on Tuesday. As for first baseman Brandon Belt, who is also on the 7-day DL for players with concussion symptoms, he is being examined and evaluated today by Dr. Micky Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Bochy hoped to have an update later Tuesday.

Sanchez took his latest foul tip while wearing the older style two-piece mask, Bochy said. Sanchez had switched from using the hockey-style mask, which provides more coverage but also does not sit flush on the face and thus can vibrate violently when struck.

Giants GM Brian Sabean said he expects catcher concussions “to be a hot topic at the upcoming GM and winter meetings, with front office staff and trainers involved.”

Bochy and Sabean haven’t found anything in Sanchez’s catching mechanics that leave him more prone to taking these head shots. Buster Posey has taken his share of them this season, too.

“The worst thing you can do is get side saddle, so to speak, and turn your head and take one to the side,” Sabean said. “But for these (shots to the front), I don’t know if it makes a difference what mask you wear, or if it’s mask-related at all.

“This is scary because of the level of impact the last two have had on him. And we learned in the (Mike) Matheny case that these have a cumulative effect, like a boxer, and there may have been contact in the player’s past, in the minor leagues or in winter ball, that you don’t know about.”

I asked Sabean if this experience could hasten any conversations or contribute to any desire to move out Posey from behind the plate in 2015.

“We’re so far from next season, I wouldn’t venture a guess,” Sabean said. “Let’s see how it plays out this year before we make plans for next year.”