The most productive hitter in the Yankees’ lineup so far this season is the newest casualty of the team’s inability to stay healthy. Gary Sanchez, he of the 180 wRC+ in the early going, was moved to the ten day injured list with a left calf strain, retroactive to yesterday, April 11th.
This now makes an even dozen everyday players on the IL for the Yankees. That is the most in the majors, and necessitates yet another Triple-A call-up as Kyle Higashioka has joined the team from Scranton. After Austin Romine had himself a bad series against Houston, one wonders just what the catching situation this weekend will be, and what Yankee fans can expect from the team’s backstops for the next nine days.
It strikes me that Gary has probably battled this injury for at least a couple of days, as he didn’t play Tuesday night and DH’d Wednesday against the Astros. It looks like the Yankees were trying to manage the injury to their star catcher themselves, and finally gave up the ghost today.
Aside from the fact that quite literally half the Opening Day roster is now on the shelf, the nature of the injury itself should be cause for concern. Calf injuries can be notoriously persistent - see Josh Donaldson - and Sanchez going down early with an injury last year was a large part of his lackluster 2018. Here’s hoping he’s back on the 21st no worse for wear.
In the meantime, the Yankees will ask even more from Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu to provide some kind of offensive punch. The team has their first series of the season against Boston next week, and even though we’re only a dozen games into the season, they all count.