MINNEAPOLIS -- Indians outfielder Travis Buck was dazed, but fortunately not at all confused in the wake of being struck on the head with a pitch in the fifth inning of Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Twins.
On Wednesday, Buck still had a headache and was out of Cleveland's starting lineup, but he was not suffering any concussion-like symptoms one day after being beaned by a fastball from Minnesota lefty Francisco Liriano.
"I passed all the tests," said Buck, who then cracked a smile. "Granted, I've taken the test many times, so I kind of knew the answers before they asked the questions."
Kidding aside, Buck and the Indians are taking a cautious approach given his history with head injuries. In 2008, Buck suffered a serious concussion while in the A's organization -- one of two head issues that he dealt with that year. On June 10 this season, Buck suffered whiplash when he was involved in a taxi accident in New York.
Asked which felt worse -- the after-effects the fender bender or being hit in the helmet by a Liriano fastball -- Buck allowed himself to smile.
"The taxi," he replied.
Acta indicated that Buck was not subject to Major League Baseball's concussion protocol after being cleared by a doctor after Tuesday's beaning. Still, the Indians manager felt it best to give the outfielder a day off on Wednesday, especially with a scheduled team off-day following on Thursday.
Buck said that he had no time to move out of the way of Liriano's pitch, considering the outfielder's approach to the at-bat. Liriano used sliders to the outside part of the plate to strike Buck out in the third inning. In the fifth, Buck kept that in mind.
"He struck me out on sliders away when I was pulling off," Buck explained. "So I told myself in the second at-bat that I've got to keep my front shoulder closed and try to stay in there. So, yeah, I had no chance."
Buck, who is hitting .243 with two homers and 18 RBIs in 45 games for the Tribe, knows that it could have been a lot worse. He is hoping to be ready to play for the Indians on Friday, when Cleveland opens a three-game set against the White Sox.
"It's very comforting for me to feel the way I do," Buck said.