The Yankees are about to get one of their injured players back. Gary Sanchez could return to the lineup for Aaron Boone on Sunday.
No team in MLB has suffered more injuries than the Yankees this season. At least one star is nearing a return to the diamond. Catcher Gary Sanchez is due to come off of the Injured List on Saturday and could go right back into Boone’s lineup the following day.
At the very least, Sanchez feels like he’s ready to play on Sunday. He recently told reporters that he feels like he’ll be “ready to go” whenever Boone calls on him. Of course, the Yankees could choose to treat their talented catcher with a bit more caution. Waiting to play Sanchez until Tuesday’s game in Anaheim would give him a few extra days to rest his strained left calf.
Then again, the way he pounded the ball in batting practice ahead of Friday night’s game against the Royals might tempt Boone to get him back into the lineup as soon as possible. According to Sweeny Murti, Sanchez was “hammering balls” all over the stadium. New York’s lineup could certainly use the return of a power bat like Sanchez to help kick-start their stagnant offense.
Once Sanchez does return to the active roster, expect Austin Romine to move back to his usual role of backup catcher. That also means Kyle Higashioka will likely return to AAA. Romine has really struggled to fill in for Sanchez during his injury absence. He’s had a slew of errors with the glove and he’s only hitting .192 in 26 at-bats on the season. The Yankees will be happy to reduce Romine’s role moving forward.
It’s still going to be quite a while before the Yankees can really field their strongest lineup, but getting Sanchez back into the mix will be an important step forward for Boone and company. The insertion of one more power hitter into the every day lineup will give opposing pitchers a lot more to think about moving forward.