The New York Yankees have been dealt a significant blow as their starting catcher, Jose Treviño, has recently undergone surgery to repair a tear in his right wrist. The 30-year-old catcher, forced to manage the injury since its diagnosis in spring training, will be out for the rest of the season.
Treviño contributed to 55 games and left the team with a batting average of .210 and a .257 On-Base Percentage (OBP). Though his offensive performance was underwhelming, with only four home runs and 15 RBIs, his defensive skills are unmatchable, a void the Yankees will find hard to fill.
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Relying on Kyle Higashioka Amidst Treviño’s Absence
In Treviño’s absence, the Yanks have turned to Kyle Higashioka, a 33-year-old backup catcher. Higashioka has played in 64 games this year, securing a .216 average and a .253 OBP, alongside five home runs, 25 RBIs, and a 65 wRC+. His average defensive capabilities pose a challenge for the Yankees, prompting them to scout for additional support.
The Yankees have promoted Ben Rortvedt, a player they acquired from the Minnesota Twins in a previous blockbuster deal to strengthen their roster.
Cardinals’ Ivan Herrera: A Potential Solution for the Yankees’ Catching Woes?
With the St. Louis Cardinals looking to sell at the trade deadline, their right-handed catcher Ivan Herrera is seen as a potential solution for the Yankees. Herrera, at 23, has participated in 19 professional games and has a commendable .244 average with a .319 OBP.
However, it is his performance in the eight games with the Cardinals this season that truly stands out. Herrera is hitting .348 with a .423 OBP, two home runs, and a 135 wRC+.
Beyond his stats, Herrera’s potential shines in his 57.1% hard-hit rate and 7.1% barrel rate across 23 at-bats this year, along with a 90.5 average exit velocity and 109.4 max exit velocity. Herrera’s raw power presents an opportunity for the Yankees to harness and develop for their future.
Herrera’s Defensive Value
While being a left-handed hitter is not usually considered crucial for a catcher, if they bring substantial defensive value to the table, Herrera does just that. He has posted a 49.2% strike rate, showing a significant improvement from his 45.1% last year. This increase in performance is sure to garner interest from various clubs.
The Yankees require additional support, and Herrera fits the bill. He’s a young player with minimum service time, which means he could offer the Yankees power in the batter’s box, an upward trajectory in defense, and a seamless transition into their setup.
A Cost-Effective Trade for the Yankees?
Given that the Cardinals recently reassigned Herrera back to AAA and are currently looking to sell, the Yankees may have an opportunity to acquire him relatively cheaply.