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Joey Bart placed on concussion IL

The Giants catcher is going to miss some time after taking a foul tip to the face mask.

Joey Bart getting checked by trainer Anthony Reyes Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants got some bad news on Tuesday, right before starting their game against the San Diego Padres: catcher Joey Bart is headed to the Injured List.

Bart left Monday’s loss to the Padres after taking a foul tip off of his face mask. He was replaced by Austin Wynns, but the team didn’t immediately determine if he had a concussion or concussion symptoms.

After further tests on Tuesday, Bart was placed on the seven-day concussion IL. He’s replaced on the roster by fellow right-hander Yermín Mercedes.

In a dull and disappointing season for the Giants, Bart has been one of the brightest spots and best stories. After getting thrown into a starting role following Buster Posey’s retirement, Bart struggled in his first two months of the season, hitting just .156/.296/.300, and striking out 49 times in 108 plate appearances.

The Giants optioned Bart to AAA in early June, and he spent a month primarily working with the coaching staff to try and fix some issues in his swing.

It worked.

Bart returned in early July, and since then has hit .283/.325/.478, with just 35 strikeouts in 120 plate appearances, giving fans reason for optimism going forward. When you account for his strong defense and quality game calling, Bart has turned into one of the few pieces that you can count on for the 2023 season. Despite the rough initial two months and the month in Sacramento, Bart has still put up +1.1 fWAR. The future seems bright for him. Let’s hope he’s OK.

And while Bart departs, we get to see the return of Mercedes (sidebar: Bart out and Mercedes in is the most transportation-based transaction in MLB history, I’m sure — can we find a way to work Mike Ford into this?). Mercedes, who hit .243/.338/.357 in 80 plate appearances before being optioned, has been getting work at catcher in AAA. Primarily a designated hitter in his short MLB career, Mercedes has only caught three innings at the MLB level. We’ll see if the Giants use him in that role, or if they play Austin Wynns every day and keep Mercedes as an emergency option.