Lucky for the Braves, they're not short on Major League caliber catchers. Last night was a tough evening to be behind the plate for the Braves. In the second inning, Brian McCann's glove hand was hit by a Rod Barajas swing causing him to leave later in the inning when he realized he couldn't catch the baseball. This was scary news for McCann, as he injured the same finger a couple of weeks ago. He'd been wearing a protective shield since the first injury, but removed it in order to better catch Redman's cutter. He left the game hoping that he'd wake up today and be able to catch a baseball - but alas, that does not seem to be the case.
Pena came in to take McCann's place, only to be hit in the head by the back swing of Greg Dobbs towards the end of the game. He seemed confused and disoriented talking to reporters after the game, although he indicated he'd be back to catch tonight. Again, things didn't turn out as planned.
Some teams might be in bad shape after seeing their two active roster catchers injured in the same game, but the Braves had their pick between catching prospects Corky Miller and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. This morning, Saltalamacchia (affectionately referred to by fans as Salty) welcomed his 22nd birthday at Turner Field. His birthday present? He'll be making his Major League debut tonight against the Phillies. So far this year at Double-A Mississippi he's batting .309 with a .617 OBP. Largely touted as the top catching prospect in baseball, Salty will have his chance tonight to prove that he's got what it takes to be on someone's Major League roster. Perhaps this will give other teams an opportunity to see him firsthand and we'll see him traded to another team for a reliable starter sometime in the future. Regardless, I'll be interested to see what he does with his chance to play in the Big Show. Happy birthday, Salty - and good luck!