SF Giants catcher Buster Posey exits in fourth inning against Dodgers

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SAN FRANCISCO — Giants catcher Buster Posey exited Wednesday’s game against the Dodgers in the top of the fourth inning less than an hour after taking a foul ball directly off his catcher’s mask.

The Giants did not immediately announce a reason for Posey’s departure from the game, but television replays showed Posey grimacing after a foul ball struck by Dodgers center fielder A.J. Pollock hit the middle of his mask in the second inning.

Posey returned to the field to catch in the third inning, which is when the Dodgers scored four runs and chased Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani from the game.

Buster Posey has been taken out of the game. He took a foul ball off his mask in the first inning. pic.twitter.com/i5H5JbbSWl

— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 29, 2021

With right fielder Mike Yastrzemski at the plate in the bottom of the third, backup catcher Curt Casali came out into the on-deck circle and would have hit for Posey had Yastrzemski extended the inning.

Casali officially replaced Posey on defense in the top of the fourth inning.

The Giants haven’t announced whether Posey has entered concussion protocol, but the team’s longest-tenured player has dealt with concussions in the past. Posey was last placed on the concussion injured list in May, 2019 after taking a foul ball off his mask in a game at Great American Ball Park against the Cincinnati Reds.

Posey was also placed on the concussion IL in April, 2017, when he was hit in the helmet by a fastball thrown by former Diamondbacks starter Taijuan Walker.

Casali is the only other catcher on the Giants’ current 26-man roster, but the club has two other catchers on the 40-man roster including top prospect, Joey Bart, and Chadwick Tromp. Bart’s name has been mentioned in rumors this week ahead of Friday’s trade deadline, but the Giants are unlikely to part with Bart in any deal unless they receive an All-Star caliber talent who will remain under team control for multiple seasons.

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