On Friday morning, the Yankees placed catcher Gary Sánchez on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 11 with a left calf strain.
Sánchez was off to a great start at the plate this season, with a .268 average, 6 home runs, and 11 RBI in 11 games.
He is the 12th Yankee to be on the injured list this season, further testing their depth.
In this case, though, unlike when they lost Miguel Andujar at third base or Giancarlo Stanton in left field, Sanchez’s replacement is not hard to find.
Austin Romine did an excellent job last season as the starting catcher when Sanchez missed 20 games last July with a right groin strain.
While the Yankees will lose some pop at the plate, there is no doubt that Romine is the better catcher and the more he plays, the better he hits.
In 77 games last season, 68 of which were starts, he hit .244 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI.
The 10 homers is a single-season career high for Romine, who hit seven home runs over his prior six Major League seasons. He also set career highs in runs scored (30), hits (59), extra-base hits (22), and walks (17).
The Yankees called up Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Sanchez’s spot on the roster.
Last season, most of his playing time came while he backed up Romine for the month that Sanchez was out.
In 29 games, he hit .167 (12-for-72) with 3 home runs, 6 RBI, 6 runs, and 2 doubles in two stints with the Yankees (June 25-July 19 & July 24-September 30).
Higashioka made his major league debut in 2017. His first major league start was a historic one on April 12, 2017 against Tampa Bay when he caught Jordan Montgomery’s major-league debut. The duo became the first battery to each make their first Major League starts since pitcher Jorge De Paula and catcher Michel Hernandez on September 26, 2003 in the second game of a doubleheader against Baltimore.