The New York Yankees have already dealt with a number of injuries ahead of spring training, with the latest being to reserve catcher Ben Rortvedt, who was labeled with a finger issue.
The injury was vague, having gone undiagnosed, but the Yankees ran some tests and eventually recommended surgery. According to Brendan Kuty of The Athletic, Ben underwent a procedure to correct circulation n his shoulder, which was affecting his finger.
Ben Rortvedt won’t perform baseball activities for a month. Had surgery to fix a circulation issue in his shoulder, which was affecting his finger.
The Yankees will now role with Kyle Higashioka as the cemented reserve:
This was a prime chance for Rortvedt to make an impression on the Yankees brass, potentially unseating Kyle Higashioka, who offered league-average defense with less than inspiring offensive metrics in 2022.
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Rortvedt is known for his defensive qualities but has a bit of pop to his bat, so this setback will undoubtedly force him out of favor. José Treviño is the cemented starter, so Higashioka will back him up for the 2023 season unless Rortvedt makes a heroic recovery and unseats Higgy.
Ben Rortvedt struggled in Triple-A:
Last season, the 25-year-old catcher played in 42 games with Triple-A Scranton, hitting .221 with a .307 OBP, six homers, and 20 RBIs. He recorded a 32.2% strikeout rate and a 10.2% walk rate with an 86 wRC+.
Offensively, Ben doesn’t offer much aside from some power and walking at a double-digit rate. Most of his value comes as a defensive catcher, similar to Treviño. Plenty of teams are going in that direction since offense at the catcher position is a luxury that Austin Wells may provide in the future.
Having already dealt with a number of injuries since being acquired in the Minnesota Twins deal last off-season, including an abdominal issue, the Yankees likely aren’t considering him an reliable piece moving forward.