Hedges exits game after home-plate collision with Rizzo

San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges stays on the ground after tagging out Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo during a collision at home during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 19, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges exited Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs with a bruised right thigh after a home-plate collision with Anthony Rizzo.

Rizzo tried to score from third on a sacrifice fly to center from Kris Bryant but was thrown out at the plate by former Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur to end the sixth inning. Luis Torrens replaced Hedges, who was 0-for-3 with a strikeout, behind the plate the following inning.

In his first full season as the Padres starting catcher, Hedges has displayed superb power, hitting 11 homers with 34 RBIs and a .218 average through 63 games. His 11 home runs were good for most out of any National League catcher entering Monday.

Hedges, 24, had hit just three home runs with 12 RBIs in 64 games with the Padres over the last two seasons. He was drafted by the Padres in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of JSerra Catholic High in Southern California.

Torrens is the only other catcher on the Padres’ roster. He was selected in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft from the Yankees and had yet to appear above Class A prior to this season. The 21-year-old catcher has struggled to acclimate to major league pitching, hitting .164 through 55 at-bats this year entering Monday.

The Padres went into Opening Day with four catchers on their roster, including Hector Sanchez and catcher-pitcher hybrid Christian Bethancourt. Sanchez is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a right foot contusion and Bethancourt is with Triple-A El Paso continuing to try to develop himself as a relief pitcher.

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