The Indians announced they’ve placed catcher Austin Hedges on the seven-day concussion injured list. Veteran backstop Ryan Lavarnway has been selected to the roster to pair with René Rivera in Hedges’ absence. To create 40-man roster space for Lavarnway, Cleveland transferred outfielder Jordan Luplow from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list.
Lavarnway, who’ll get the start behind the plate this afternoon against the Orioles, will be making his first MLB appearance of 2021. It’ll mark his fifth consecutive year getting big league time (and his tenth overall), each of the last five with a different club. Lavarnway has suited up for the A’s, Pirates, Reds and Marlins over the last four years, totaling fewer than twenty plate appearances at each stop. A quintessential third catcher, the 33-year-old has appeared for seven teams in total (the Indians will be his eighth) and hit .215/.272/.344 across 456 MLB plate appearances. He’s hit .258/.313/.551 in 97 trips to the dish this year with Triple-A Columbus.
Hedges missed yesterday’s game with an illness that now appears to be related to a concussion. This is the second time in his MLB career he’s gone on the concussion IL. The defensive specialist has hit just .144/.205/.240 so far this season.
Luplow has been on the injured list since May 27. His transfer rules him out for sixty days from the date of that original placement, so he’ll now be ineligible to return to the majors until late July. Before the injury, the 27-year-old had posted an odd, but fairly productive, .173/.331/.439 line (113 wRC+) with seven homers across 121 plate appearances. Luplow’s on-base and slugging percentages exceed the respective major league averages of .317 and .405 despite the low batting average.
President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti provided reporters (including Mandy Bell of MLB.com and Zack Meisel of the Athletic) updates on a few other injured players this morning. Designated hitter Franmil Reyes and catcher Roberto Pérez could begin minor league rehab assignments within the next week. Starter Zach Plesac, meanwhile, is slated to throw a bullpen session tomorrow and could embark on a rehab assignment of his own in the next couple weeks.