If seems the only breaks the New York Yankees can catch right now are to their players, as catcher Gary Sanchez landed on the 10-day IL with a calf strain.
The New York Yankees are losing players faster than Game of Thrones eliminates characters.
The Yankees added another name to the injured list on Friday, placing catcher Gary Sanchez on the 10-day IL with a calf strain, per Buster Olney of ESPN.
Sanchez has a quarter — six — of New York’s 24 home runs this season, with half of those coming on Sunday, when he belted three homers and drove in six runs in the Yankees’ 15-3 pounding of the Baltimore Orioles.
Sanchez appeared in the eighth inning of Thursday night’s 8-6 loss to the Houston Astros as a pinch-hitter, striking out.
He’s slashed .268/.333/1.065 in 45 plate appearances this season, with six homers, 11 RBI and six runs scored.
Sanchez was an All-Star in 2017 when he bashed 33 homers in 525 plate appearances, but last season was limited to 89 games because of a right groin strain that lingered for much of the year.
His production fell off last season … dramatically. He slashed .186/.291/.697 — way off the .278/.345/.876 from 2017 — and had 18 home runs in 374 plate appearances.
Sanchez joins a crowded injured list for the Yankees that includes Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Troy Tulowitzki, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury — just among position players.
The Yankees are also without starting pitchers Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Jordan Montgomery as well as relievers Dellin Betances and Ben Heller, who missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery.
The good news is that Sabathia is expected to pitch Saturday against the Chicago White Sox, but the news is fairly grim elsewhere, with Stanton not expected back for another week or two.
The result has the Yankees struggling a bit in the early going at 5-7, 4½ games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East, but a slow start from the Boston Red Sox (4-9 after Thursday’s walk-off win against the Toronto Blue Jays) takes at least a bit of the sting out of it.
Organizational veteran Kyle Higashioka was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Sanchez’s spot on the active roster.
Higashioka will be 29 on April 20 and has been with the organization since he was a seventh-round pick in the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft, but has just 99 career plate appearances in the majors.
He has slashed .133/.212/.468 in those 99 plate appearances with three home runs, so it’s unlikely he can replace Sanchez’s productivity. Austin Romine will likely do the bulk of the catching in Sanchez’s absence.
Romine is 3-for-15 with a homer and two RBI in four games this season.