Halos catcher hurt after Teixeira collision
Wilson, in first MLB start, drilled on play at plate, goes on DL
ANAHEIM -- Angels catcher Bobby Wilson never envisioned the first start of his career ending the way it did Friday night against the Yankees at Angel Stadium.
Wilson, who was playing in just his 21st big league game, was knocked out when Mark Teixeira collided with him at home plate in the third inning. Teixeira was trying to score from second base on a single by Robinson Cano and crushed Wilson as the catcher tried to field the throw on a bounce from right fielder Bobby Abreu. Teixeira, the former Angel, was safe.
Wilson had to be helped off the field by trainer Ned Berger and was taken to Chapman Medical Center for a CT scan and X-rays. After the game, Wilson was placed on the 15-day disabled list after being diagnosed with a concussion while X-rays on his left ankle will be evaluated on Saturday by team physician Lewis Yocum. Catcher Ryan Budde was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake, with fellow catcher Jeff Mathis still out four to eight weeks with a fractured wrist.
The play at the plate garnered some controversy, though, because he was off the plate when Teixeira collided with him. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who was a big league catcher for 13 years, insisted it was not a dirty play.
"It was a clean play," Scioscia said. "No doubt about it. Mark is trying to score and the ball beat him by a little bit and Bobby did his best to try to get the tag down and Mark just reacted."
Like Scioscia, Yankees manager Joe Girardi felt the play was clean and that Wilson's injury was just unfortunate.
"It's part of the trade," said Girardi, who spent 15 in the Majors as a catcher. "Your job as a catcher is to block the plate and try to keep the run from scoring. Sometimes you get run over. I've had my nose broken and my shoulder separated. It's all part of the game as a catcher."
Some Angels players, however, felt like it would've been quicker and easier for Teixeira to slide because Wilson was fielding the ball on the first-base side of the diamond.
"He gave him the plate," center fielder Torii Hunter said. "He could either slide there or take him out. I thought it was a little early for him to take him out. If he slides, he's safe regardless. I guess he was on a mission."
Teixeira could've been on a mission because he reached base that inning after being drilled on a 92 mph fastball from right-hander Ervin Santana on a 1-1 count with a runner at first. But Santana insisted he didn't mean to hit Teixeira and that he should've slid at home.
"I don't know, you know, because he could've scored easily," Santana said. "I don't know if he did it because I just hit him and the count was 1-1, but I didn't mean to hit him. He would've scored easily anyways because the throw was a little off the plate."
Teixeira explained his actions after the game, saying that it was never his intention to hurt Wilson and he barreled into him only because he thought he had the ball, when in fact it bounced up and hit Wilson in the mask.
"As soon as I came around third, I picked up Jorge [Posada], who was telling me to slide," Teixeira explained. "It was going to be a close play. I saw he was on the plate, but I saw he didn't have the ball yet. I started to get down and make my slide, and as soon as he turned toward me, I figured he had the ball. In that instance, the only choice I have is to lower my shoulder and try and knock the ball loose.
"If you see, I went down and was going to do one of those side-slides. As soon as he started going toward me, I figured he had the ball and was going to block the plate."
Teixeira also felt bad because he was briefly teammates with Wilson back in 2008, when Wilson was a September call-up.
"Bobby's a great kid," Teixeira said. "Before the game, I told him, 'Best of luck and good luck this year.' I feel terrible that he got hurt. It's not about trying to hurt him, it's about trying to score the run and knock the ball loose."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.