Yankees catcher suffers ‘finger’ injury ahead of Spring Training opener

Ben Rortvedt, yankees

The New York Yankees were always going to deal with a number of injuries during spring training, but losing starting pitcher Frankie Montas for nearly the entire 2023 season truly wasn’t expected. There have been a few minor nicks and nacks, notably to catcher Ben Rortvedt over the weekend.

Rortvedt was traded to the Yankees last year in the deal that brought Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson to the Bronx. He was expected to serve as a competitor alongside Jose Treviño and Kyle Higashioka, but an abdominal injury set him back significantly.

Now, he’s dealing with a finger injury, but he’s expected to return to camp this week, according to Brendan Kuty of The Athletic. Luckily, the issue is considered “day-to-day,” and he shouldn’t miss any significant time, allowing him to compete for the backup spot, having spent the 2022 season in AAA.

The Yankees like Ben Rortvedt but need to see more:

Across 42 games and 177 plate appearances, Ben hit .221 with a .307 OBP, six homers, and 20 RBIs with a 32.2% strikeout rate and 10.2% walk rate. Considering he posted an 86 wRC+, it is safe to say his offensive qualities may not transition to the MLB.

Rortvedt has always been known for his defensive contributions, so Higashioka likely has the backup spot locked up. Last season, Higgy enjoyed 83 games, hitting .227 with a .264 OBP, 10 homers, and 31 RBIs. He graded out as an average defender behind home plate, and while he did reach double-digit homers for the second time in his career, he struggles to get on base and hit for contact.

If Rortvedt shows some progress in the offensive department during spring training, he may unseat Higashioka as the team’s primary reserve behind Treviño, who also had his own downfalls in the batter’s box. For that reason, it should be an interesting spring, but injuries have dampened any optimism regarding Rortvedt, so he needs to shake off the finger injury and get back to work to showcase his qualities.

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