Detroit – One of the first things Tigers catcher Jake Rogers did when he heard the news was to call his former teammate at Double-A Erie, Alex Faedo.
"I called Faedo and asked him about it, but they don't know much, either," said Rogers. "It's just really tough to hear. He was a really good dude. He was the life of the clubhouse, man."
Tigers minor-league catcher Chace Numata is in a hospital in Erie, Pa., suffering what is believed to be a head injury.
According to the Erie News, Numata was found injured on a downtown street early Friday morning after what police called a skateboarding accident. Surveillance cameras on the street showed Numata skating down East Fourth Street.
No vehicle was involved, according to police.
The Tigers released the following statement:
“We’ve been made aware that early on Friday morning, SeaWolves catcher Chace Numata was involved in an accident in Erie. We have been in contact with hospital officials and SeaWolves leadership about his condition. All of us with the Detroit Tigers ask for Chace to be kept in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
SeaWolves team president Greg Coleman confirmed the accident to Erie News, but Numata’s condition was not available Friday afternoon.
"Just keep him in your prayers," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's a tough situation and hopefully the doctors are taking care of it. It's a sad situation, but like I said, hopefully he'll pull through this thing."
Rogers began the season in Erie and played with Numata for more than a month.
"He was the life of the clubhouse," he said. "He brought energy every day. Just showing up and seeing him, you'd get a laugh out of it. He's a jokester, really funny. And was a really good presence behind the plate for those guys."
Numata, 27 from Pearl City, Hawaii, is in his 10th minor league season, and his first with the Tigers.
From the Erie News:
According to Erie police, officers were called to the first block of East Fourth Street on Friday at about 2:15 a.m. on a report of a man down and found Numata on the ground, bleeding from the head. A motorist told police that he was driving through the area when he saw something in the roadway and drove around it, and found Numata, Erie police Captain Rick Lorah said.
Numata was transported to the hospital by ambulance from the scene, Lorah said.