In the latest episode of “Bronx ER”, NY Yankees All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez tweaked his groin while running to first base in a game against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday and he got sent on the IL for the second time this season.
Before he went down with an injury against the Minnesota Twins, Sanchez connected on 24 home runs and 58 RBI. He led the Yanks in team home runs.
An MRI confirmed a groin pull, albeit a minor one that should only keep him sidelined for a week or so.
“In the scale of strains, it’s minor,” said manager Aaron Boone. “Which is somewhat good news, but still it’s going to be some time.”
“I felt it after I stepped on the base,” Sanchez told beat reporters via translator. “Felt kind of like a cramp. It’s nothing like what I had last year.”
Last season, Sanchez spent two stints on the disabled list with a serious groin pull. Sanchez only played 89 games last season, but still managed to smash 18 home runs.
Earlier this season, Sanchez missed two weeks with a calf strain.
In the meantime, backup catcher Austin Romine will handle catching duties. The Yankees called up catcher Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Boone said that he might split time between both catchers.
The Yankees are known for their prowess in developing young catchers. The team has been high on Higashioka and avoided trading him the last few years even though many other organizations wanted him.
“Higgy is really an elite receiver,” Boone said. “Great hands behind the plate. We feel like, even though with Gary being down is a blow, we feel like in Higgy we have a guy capable of not only filling in but a guy capable of coming up here and thriving and having an impact on us winning games on both sides of the ball.”
Higashioka, 29, only played 42 games with the Yankees since 2017 hitting .143 with 3 home runs. In AAA Scranton, Higgy should a little pop in his bat. He hit .268 with 16 home runs and 40 RBI in 201 at bats.
Sanchez found himself in the worst slump of the season with only 10 hits in his last 85 at bats. Insiders suggest that Sanchez injured his thumb during the London series against the Red Sox. Sanchez insisted a jammed thumb on his catching hand was a non-factor and he didn’t miss any time.
However, the stats do not lie. Last month, he was slashing at .273/.339./.634. Since then, he’s hit only one home run and his slashline plummeted to .229/.299/.508. Sanchez got off to a torrid start and destroyed the Baltimore Orioles, but cooled off.
Perhaps the groin pull is exactly what Sanchez needs right now. The time off will clear his mind and allow him to rest up his hand and whatever bruises he incurred while behind the plate.
“We’ll just kind of see how these next few days, how the next week unfolds and how he’s healing and when he gets to start back up baseball activities,” said manager Aaron Boone. “But I don’t want to put a timeline or anything like that on it in these early days. We’ll see how he responds.”
Meanwhile, despite all the injuries this season, the Yankees (66-35) are the best team in the American League. Only Cody Bellinger and the LA Dodgers have more wins. Bookies in Las Vegas posted the Dodgers at 5/2 odds to win the World Series. The Yankees are the second-best favorite on the board at 3/1 odds to win the championship.