Yankees facing problems at catcher ahead of Opening Day

jose trevino, yankees
Feb 19, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Jose Trevino (39) winds up during spring training practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are dealing with a number of injuries as we quickly approach opening day, but no position has been hit harder than catcher. In fact, starter Jose Treviño was expected to play during Tuesday’s spring training game against the Detroit Tigers, but he was scratched early in the morning with a wrist issue.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

Yankees are dealing with several injuries to the catcher position:

  • -Josh Breaux: Elbow
  • -Austin Wells: Ribs
  • -Ben Rorvedt: Finger/shoulder
  • -Jose Trevino: Wrist

The only healthy catchers include Carlos Narváez and Kyle Higashioka, who is currently featuring with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Higashioka has plenty of experience filling in as a starter and supplemental piece, but the Yankees certainly miss Treviño when he’s not behind the dish.

Last season, Higashioka, 32, hit .227 with a .264 OBP, 10 homers, and 31 RBIs across 83 games. Defensively, he ranked out around average, but Treviño had the best strike rate in the entire league. The 30-year-old, who settled for $2.4 million in arbitration this year and isn’t a free agent until 2026, hit .248 with a .283 OBP, 11 homers, and 43 RBIs. This was Treviño‘s best offensive campaign by a significant margin, recording a 91 wRC+ and posting a 3.7 WAR. Dealing with an early wrist injury certainly isn’t ideal for a catcher, but the Yankees will have to continue pushing forward regardless.

In the meantime, Narváez is getting the majority of spring training reps, having played 12 games over the past few weeks. He’s currently hitting .105 with a .308 OBP, including two hits, two homers, and four RBIs across 19 at-bats. Unfortunately, he hasn’t recorded a hit since March 1, but he has tallied a few walks along the way.

This would’ve been a prime opportunity for Austin Wells to earn some important reps heading into the regular season, especially since he could be promoted late in the year to get some at-bats in Yankee Stadium as a power lefty hitter.