Even though we are not even two weeks into the MLB season, the New York Yankees are already dealing with a few significant injuries. Over the weekend, their star 24-year-old catcher Gary Sanchez landed on the disabled list.
On Saturday afternoon, Sanchez strained his right biceps after fouling off a pitch in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. This forced him to leave the game. Later that day, the Yankees announced that Sanchez would be placed on the 10-day disabled list.
The injury turned out to be worse than the team originally thought. After Sanchez was evaluated on Monday, it was revealed that he has a strained brachialis muscle. This particular muscle is behind the right biceps. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Sanchez is expected to miss the next four weeks.
This injury is definitely a tough blow to the Yankees offense. They were relying on Sanchez to be one of their most productive hitters this season. After being called up in August of last year, he put up incredible offensive numbers. In 201 at bats during the 2016 season, Sanchez hit .299 with 20 home runs and 42 RBIs. Despite only playing in 53 games, he finished second in the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year voting.
Fortunately for the Yankees, Sanchez will only be sidelined for about a month. He will still have a chance to be a major factor in their offense this season. Right now however, the Yankees are going to have to get by without him.
With Sanchez on the disabled list, the Yankees are now missing two of their best hitters. Back in March, their shortstop Didi Gregorius injured his right shoulder while playing for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. He is expected to be back sometime in early May. Like Sanchez, Gregorius was a big part of the Yankees offense last season. He batted .276 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs in 153 games.
Without Sanchez and Gregorius, other players are going to have to step up. Utility infielder Ronald Torreyes has started all of the games at shortstop so far for the Yankees and has gotten off to a decent start. Torreyes has a home run and 8 RBIs in 24 at bats. Austin Romine will be the team’s starting catcher until Sanchez returns. Although he is a good defensive catcher, Romine is not nearly as talented offensively as Sanchez is.
It is never good when a team has to deal with injuries to key players this early in the season. We will see if the Yankees lineup can manage without Sanchez and Gregorius.