Just as fast as the New York Yankees gained catcher Ben Rortvedt from the Minnesota Twins in the blockbuster trade last week involving Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela, he’s already picked up an oblique injury and will miss some swinging the bat.
Aaron Boone mentioned on Saturday the 25-year-old is still participating in catching drills but isn’t hitting, meaning Kyle Higashioka could end up being the primary catcher to start the regular season.
The Bombers acquired Rortvedt in addition to Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson, but management expects to utilize a tandem at catcher to start the year with Higashioka.
Rortvedt featured in the MLB for 39 games last season, hitting .169 with three homers and seven RBIs. Most of his action came at the minor-league level, specifically in AAA during the 2021 season. He hit .254 with five homers and 22 RBIs over 34 games.
Higashioka, on the other hand, enjoyed 67 games with the Yankees last season, hitting .181 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs. He significantly needs to improve his efficiency at the plate, recording a 28% strikeout rate last year. However, Higashioka is a phenomenal defensive catcher, who Gerrit Cole prefers specifically.