The Yankees have placed catcher Kyle Higashioka

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The Yankees have placed catcher Kyle Higashioka on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain, retroactive to Thursday, the team
announced prior to Saturday’s doubleheader against the Rays at Tropicana
The backup to Gary Sánchez, Higashioka has appeared in three games this
season, producing two hits in nine at-bats (.222). Manager Aaron Boone
said that Higashioka first experienced the oblique issue on Thursday,
and he was unable to swing a bat on Friday.
Boone said that Higashioka is scheduled to have an MRI exam on Monday in
New York to determine the severity of the strain and a potential
timetable for return.
“We thought it was going to be something he'd work through, and then
[Friday] it was just a little tighter than we're comfortable going with
as a hitter,” Boone said. “We decided we needed to do this, and
hopefully try and get out ahead of it and keep it as something that's a
short-term thing.”
In corresponding moves, the Yanks signed catcher Erik Kratz to a Major
League contract and selected him to the active roster, while also
recalling infielder Thairo Estrada. Estrada did not appear in the
Yankees' 8-4 win in Game 1 and was optioned between games of the
doubleheader C.C. Sabathia Jersey, with right-hander Ben Heller recalled from the alternate site.
The 40-year-old Kratz said that he has been impressed by the focus
displayed at the team’s alternate training site in Moosic, Pa., where
players are debating between nicknaming themselves “The JV Team” or
“Field 2.”
“[The workouts have] actually gone opposite of what I thought they were
going to,” Kratz said. “They've gotten more intense because you're
facing the same guys over and over again. You embarrass the pitcher one
day and then he embarrasses you three times the next time he's out
there. The competitive spirit in us is the only way to stay ready. It’s
what keeps us going.”
Now in his 18th professional season and having appeared in parts of 10
big league seasons, Kratz played briefly for the Yankees in 2017 and saw
time with the Giants and Rays last year. He was in camp with the
Yankees as a non-roster invitee when play halted in March.
“Over the next few months, you wondered, is this season going to
happen?” Kratz said. “Am I going to get an opportunity to come back?
Then once they started ramping things up, then you wonder, are you going
to get a call? I was fortunate to get a call and be able to work out at
Summer Camp and the alternate site to stay running.”
New York designated right-hander Nick Tropeano for assignment; Tropeano
did not appear in Friday’s game after being added to the roster earlier
in the day. The Yanks appointed right-hander Albert Abreu as the 29th
man for Saturday’s doubleheader.
Down on the farm
Kratz has had opportunities to catch right-handers Clarke Schmidt and
Deivi García at the alternate training site. He believes the Yanks’ No. 2
and No. 3 prospects, respectively, are prepared to make a splash in the
“They're ready to go. There's no other way to say it,” Kratz said.
“There's a lot of really good arms down, all at different spots in their
career, different spots in their development. But those guys, what you
saw in Spring Training is what you're going to get. And they're doing
the same thing down there Derek Jeter Jersey.” Schmidt has been extended to four innings in simulated games, while
García has thrown about 50 pitches over two to three simulated innings.
Boone said that he is hearing “good things” about the duo, and believes
that García and Schmidt could see big league time this year as starters
or relievers.
“I’m always seeing what's going on down there -- who's throwing, how
guys are doing, trying to check in and get reports from coaches,” Boone
said. “I ask players when they come up, and I’ll pick Erik Kratz’s brain
on that as well. I’m constantly getting reports like you would during a
regular Minor League season. That may be even more hyper-focused
because that's our only spot where our guys are active.”
Bombers bits
The Yankees placed catcher Chris Iannetta on the restricted list Friday
after he did not report to the club’s alternate training site. Boone
declined to comment on Iannetta’s status, saying, “I’ll just leave it at
that for now.”
Up next
The Yankees will conclude their weekend series at Tropicana Field on
Sunday, facing the Rays in a 1:10 p.m. ET contest. Left-hander James
Paxton hopes to reclaim some of his fastball velocity in his third start
of the season, with right-hander Charlie Morton set to take the ball
for Tampa Bay Don Mattingly Jersey. Masahiro Tanaka helped stabilize a shaky rotation with five splendid
innings, but the bats went quiet and Adam Ottavino faltered late as the
Yankees absorbed a 1-0 defeat on Friday at Tropicana Field, their third
loss in four games.
The clubs matched zeroes until the eighth inning, when Ottavino issued
two walks and uncorked a wild pitch that set up a sacrifice fly for
pinch-hitter Michael Perez. The Yanks’ streak of 12 consecutive games
with a home run, a franchise record to open a season, was snapped as
they were shut out on two hits.
“I don't think it's acceptable,” DJ LeMahieu said. “I think we’re too
good of a team for that. But at the same time, I feel like the Rays’
pitchers did a pretty good job.”
Tanaka was excellent and economical in his second start of the season,
retiring the final 13 men he faced while permitting one hit over five
scoreless innings. Limited to 59 pitches as he builds stamina following a
July 4 concussion, Tanaka struck out five and did not walk a batter Gary Sanchez Jersey. Using his fastball (21), slider (18) and splitter (16) effectively,
Tanaka also mixed in four curveballs.
“I think the best part of today was that I had good command,” Tanaka
said through a translator. “The slider was definitely better than the
last outing. I was really cognizant of executing that slider this game,
and it's good to see that I was able to do that.”
With at least 14 innings on deck in Saturday’s doubleheader, Tanaka’s
effort was welcome for the Yankees, who have seen their starters
complete five innings just five times through 13 games. Three of those
efforts were by ace Gerrit Cole, who will start Saturday’s first
contest. “I was hoping for three or four [innings], maybe,” manager
Aaron Boone said of Tanaka. “That's as good as you'll see Masa right
there; that's when he's great. It was another really good step for him.”
Silent night
Rays starter Blake Snell tossed three spotless innings Gleyber Torres Jersey, and the Yanks did not notch their first hit until LeMahieu singled with
one out in the sixth off Pete Fairbanks.
“Snell pitched all right,” LeMahieu said. “Overall, we just didn’t have
great at-bats. It’s kind of disappointing.”
The Yanks loaded the bases with three walks in the seventh, including a
hard-fought 10-pitch battle by Gio Urshela, but Gary Sánchez swung
through a 96 mph Nick Anderson fastball to end the rally. Boone thought
Luke Voit just missed a three-run homer on a swing earlier in that
inning, and he ultimately flied out to right field. “Against a Rays team
that's really good at preventing runs, you’ve got to try and take
advantage of when you do get some traffic out there,” Boone said. “We
just couldn't break through tonight.”
Mike Tauchman committed a baserunning blunder in the eighth, making the
first out of the inning at third base after a leadoff double. Boone said
that Tauchman’s decision to run on LeMahieu’s ground ball to shortstop
Willy Adames was “not a terrible read.”
“In the end, he shouldn't have gone, but sometimes you want to be
aggressive.” Boone said. “Any time that ball’s a little bit slower hit
and to your left, you know the shortstop’s going to have to move and
turn his body. Adames made a really good play. It looked a lot simpler
than it probably was because he had to get around, get his feet set and
throw a strike.”
Posted 26 Aug 2020

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