But a day after a ball caromed off Ty Wigginton and drilled Saltalamacchia in the head, the catcher was healthy enough to return to the Red Sox lineup. And Saltalamacchia is simply grateful the injury wasn't worse.
"It was definitely scary any time it hits you in the head like that," he said. "It was pretty direct on after it hit off my arm. I went to the doctor last night, went to the hospital, and they said everything came back negative, no signs of any concussions or anything. I just had to get some stitches, and good to go."
Saltalamacchia will have to clean his ear three times a day and use antibiotics for several days.
It's an injury that could have been prevented given Saltalamacchia's choice of catching equipment.
Unlike many catchers in baseball, Saltalamacchia doesn't don a hockey-style catching mask. The 26-year-old prefers a traditional mask — one that doesn't completely cover a catcher's head.
"I used the [hockey-style mask] in high school, and I didn't mind it, but they're just so heavy and, after foul ball after foul ball, it’s louder than most people think," Saltalmacchia said. "I stopped using it because it was so damn loud. It would have kept me from getting hurt last night, that's for sure."
Saltalamacchia said he's still in pain, but it shouldn't affect his performance on the field.