Gary Sanchez lands on DL with groin injury, Higashioka to be recalled

Brian Cashman announced late Sunday night that Gary Sanchez would be placed on the 10-day disabled list after suffering a groin injury in the 10th inning of Sunday’s extra-inning loss to the Rays. This comes as no surprise after Aaron Boone said a DL stint appeared likely in his postgame press conference.

Photo Credit: Kris Klements | USA Today
While it has largely been a season to forget for the Yankees' catcher, his .190 batting average and .723 OPS both being well below his career averages, Sanchez was starting to show some signs of life in the last week with two home runs and a noticeable uptick in hard hit balls. Eventually, Sanchez’s absurdly low .203 BABIP should climb closer to his career mark of .307 coming into the season, and some of those hard-hit balls will go for hits. However, the Yankees are going to have to wait at least 10 days for that to start happening.

In the corresponding move, the Yankees will recall Kyle Higashioka, the only catcher on New York’s 40-man roster besides Austin Romine and Sanchez. Higashioka is in the midst of a brutal season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he is hitting .191 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 183 at-bats (.593 OPS). The 28-year-old is probably best known for his cup of coffee with the Bombers last April in which he went 0-18 in nine games. Here’s to hoping “Higgy” picks up his first Big League knock this time around. Also, maybe the Yankees can try Higashioka out as Sonny Gray’s new personal catcher to see if that gets him going.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
However, the biggest impact of this injury will be on Austin Romine. Romine is enjoying his best offensive season to date, as the career .231 hitter is batting .305 with a career-high matching four home runs and 20 RBI in just 82 at-bats. Many fans have been clamoring for Romine to replace the struggling Sanchez and now it’s a reality. This is a huge opportunity for the 29-year-old to show whether he’s capable of being an everyday catcher.

Don’t let Sanchez’s .190 batting average fool you into thinking this isn’t a big blow for the Yankees. He’s still second amongst all MLB catchers with 14 home runs and 41 RBI on the year and Romine, while having a strong season, has never proven he can excel as an everyday catcher. The Yankees surely have enough depth in their lineup to make up for the loss of Sanchez, but let’s hope it’s only for a short period of time.

Article by: Jake Graziano


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