Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Romine's status uncertain, concussion not ruled out

TRENTON – Thunder catcher Austin Romine missed his second straight game last night, a direct result of his collision with Altoona designated hitter Travis Scott at home plate on Thursday evening.

Romine told trainer Tim Lentych and manager Tony Franklin that he was experiencing soreness in back and neck, and the team has decided to take the cautious approach. He has already seen Dr. Lou Fares, the team’s physician, and his return to the lineup is uncertain.

The possibility of a concussion hasn’t been ruled out, but it’s not necessarily something the team suspects. For his part, Romine doesn’t seem worried about his status in the long term, but he also understands the need for a careful approach given recent events around the sport.

“With everything going on with collisions right now, on TV and all that, they thought they’d be a little cautious,” he said before last night’s game with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. “They gave me the night off (on Friday), and (now) the stiffness is still kind of there. It makes it hard to swing and stuff like that, so they’re being real cautious about it and they’re giving me a couple of days off.”

No decision has been made as to whether Romine will go on the disabled list, and it may be a few days before that decision comes. The catcher still has to undergo a few evaluations, especially to make sure that he hasn’t experienced a concussion.

“It’s hard to say right now where he’s going to end up,” Franklin said, “but I do know this: He’s not going to play (Saturday), probably won’t play (Sunday), and won’t play we hear from the doctors, the front-office people as to what and how we should proceed.”

If Romine did sustain a concussion on the hit, the timetable grows murkier. The effects of concussions can be extremely long-lasting, just ask Twins first baseman Justin Morneau. He was concussed in July of last year, and missed the rest of the season.

On the other hand, Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett missed just a few days after being struck in the head with a line drive during spring training. His symptoms came and went in a matter of days, and he has pitched without problems this season.

So when the team refers to Romine’s timetable as indefinite, that truly is the case.

As for the play that caused the injury, neither manager nor catcher holds any ill will toward Scott for his aggressive approach. In the same vein, Romine says he has no regrets about blocking the plate the way he did. If he had to repeat his actions, he would.

“Human nature takes over,” he said. “You don’t want him to score at all. You’re going to do whatever you can to block him from getting to the plate. Sometimes you’re going to get hung out to dry because of your positioning. We’re taught to give a little bit of the plate unless it’s the game on the line, then you take the plate away.”

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