Mathis gets scare

Mathis gets scare

With solid numbers at the plate and increasing confidence behind it, catcher Jeff Mathis received a scare this week.

Catcher Jeff Mathis was hit by a pitch on his left hand, just below his pinkie, in a minor league game Monday. X-rays were negative, but he will sit out a few days due to the swelling.

Mathis was catching right-hander John Lackey in the game, otherwise he would have had the day off.

Mathis, hitting .318 and expected to split time with Jose Molina, didn't seem very upset about getting hit. He was more appreciative that nothing broke.

He was hit on the same hand in 2001 and broke the fourth metacarpal, and in 2002 he was hit in the face, breaking his left orbital bone. He had five plates put into his face -- three metal ones and two plastic ones.

"I was scared to death," he said about that night. "Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night."

Mathis' work behind the plate has been coming along as he makes an effort to be more vocal with his pitching staff, a tough task for a rookie.

"That is something Scioscia looks for," he explained. "He is a catching guy and he likes for his catchers to be vocal. That is one thing that they have been stressing for me to improve on and really pick up the last couple of years. I have done that and on the field I am a little louder than I am in the clubhouse. It is just something that they expect out of you and like I said I have been working on to develop."

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