Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris took a couple of highly publicized knocks to the helmet at the hands of Manny Machado in the weekend series against the Orioles.
Changing opponents provided no reprieve for Norris though. He was hit for the third time since Sunday, this time by the wayward backswing of Angels shortstop Erick Aybar.
Norris missed the rest of Sunday’s game and Monday’s tilt because of the two times Machado got him on Monday. He passed all of the concussion tests, and was allowed to get back behind the plate on Tuesday. Maybe he is wishing he would have stayed in the dugout!
So much for Machado doing it on purpose, huh? All three times that Norris has been knocked on the noggin by backswings have come on changeups, something causes the hitters to swing longer trying to compensate for swinging early.
Manny Machado did seem to learn something from the incidents with Derek Norris over the weekend though. Machado caught veteran backstop A.J. Pierzynski tonight with his backswing and immediately offered an apology. Something he did not give Norris until after the series was over.
It is quite possible that the apology to Pierzynski was more a matter of self-preservation. Pierzynski is know for being a bit rough around the edges.
There is a strong possibility that Norris will have to run the concussion test gauntlet yet again after Aybar smacked him. He did stay in the game on Tuesday. Norris’ platoon-mate at catcher, John Jaso, entered the game as a pinch hitter at DH, so the A’s don’t seem concerned with the latest assault on their catcher.
Norris will likely get Wednesday off anyway after Tuesday’s game went extra innings.