PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba insisted he was OK after being jarred by a foul ball to the mask during Sunday's game at Baltimore. He passed a postgame concussion test and didn't see any reason he couldn't continue to be available.
But he woke up on Monday with discomfort, facial swelling and light sensitivity, and became the first Rockies player to be placed on the seven-day disabled list -- designed for head trauma situations -- before Monday's game. Torrealba reported feeling better on Tuesday but had full understanding and appreciation for the ability to go on a seven-day DL. It gives him time to recover and, hopefully, be free of symptoms before returning to normal workouts, yet not be inactive for 15 days.
"I feel useless, that's what I feel -- I can do nothing," Torrealba said, joking, before explaining his symptoms. "I never really had a headache, but I had pressure in my forehead. I was sensitive to light. Actually, Sunday night, I was OK. I felt really good after the game. I didn't feel much. I was on the bus, talked on the phone, looked at the view.
"But I had a hard time falling to sleep Sunday night, and when I got up I was sensitive to the light."
Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger said even if there wasn't a seven-day DL, he would not have cleared Torrealba to play on Monday and would have kept a watch on him beyond that. Dugger said they were able to have Torrealba rest, but said he has the same problem that parents and caretakers of youth athletes have -- keeping stimulation to a minimum.
"He sat in the clubhouse and in the dugout, but we just wanted him to lay low," Dugger said. "The hardest thing is all these guys are hooked to their electronic devices -- phones, computer, TV. I tried. I suggested it highly. It's not necessarily physical exertion but the cognitive aspect of thinking, reading, that causes problems. It's like with kids -- no homework, no reading. Relaxing doesn't mean go home and read a book. It means go in a dark room and sleep."
The oddity of Torrealba's injury was his mask -- the old-school type that fits over a batting helmet, rather than the hockey-style mask-helmet combination -- didn't fly off his helmet after the tipped 94-mph fastball crashed against the forehead portion of the mask. He will not switch styles, but since he and Dugger believe either the padding was worn or the mask was too tight, he'll get a new one.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.