Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is headed to the disabled list with a groin injury, as manager Aaron Boone indicated reporters, including The Athletic’s Marc Carig, following Sunday’s game. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi confirmed the news on Monday morning. Kyle Higashioka, the only other catcher on New York’s 40-man roster, will be recalled to take Sanchez’s place.
Sanchez suffered the injury running to first base while trying to avoid being thrown out on what would ultimately end up being a double play in the 10th inning of the Yankees’ loss to the Rays on Sunday. An MRI will determine the extent of the injury and provide the Yankees with a timetable for recovery.
Sanchez, 25, has had a disappointing 2018 season thus far after being arguably the league’s best offensive catcher from his arrival on August 3, 2016 through the end of last season. In 265 plate appearances this year, he’s posted a .190/.291/.433 slash line with 14 homers. He’s endured his worst slump during the month of June, posting a .121/.215/.259 line with two home runs in 15 games.
With Sanchez sidelined, 29-year-old Austin Romine will take over starting catching duties. In 92 plate appearances this season, Romine has a career-best .305/.370/.524 line with four homers. He’s also more adept behind the plate behind Sanchez and will give the Yankees’ defense a boost.
The 28-year-old Higashioka, who is hitless in 18 career major-league at-bats, has posted a miserable .191/.265/.328 slash line with five homers over 205 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He’s unlikely to contribute much unless Romine desperately needs a day off.