Yankees finally get to see catcher acquired in blockbuster Twins deal

ben rortvedt, yankees
Sep 5, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt (70) at bat in the third inning agains the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were dealt an unexpected blow on Thursday when starting catcher José Treviño was sidelined with a hamstring injury, leading to his placement on the injured list.

In Treviño’s absence, the Yankees are poised to rely heavily on Kyle Higashioka and another player who is finally recovering from multiple injuries since being acquired in a significant trade with the Minnesota Twins last off-season.

Some might not be familiar with Ben Rortvedt, but the Yankees are planning to integrate him into their line-up in the next few days, following his strong performance in Triple-A over a ten-game period. Rortvedt batted .324 with a .405 OBP, smacking three homers and driving in 9 runs across 42 at-bats. He did register a 21.4% strikeout rate with an 11.9% walk rate, achieving a 155 wRC+.

Last year, for the Yankees in Triple-A, Rortvedt’s performance was more modest, hitting .221 with a .307 OBP. Nonetheless, his left-handed swing is particularly well-suited to Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are intrigued by what Ben Rortvedt could bring to the table:

Rortvedt offers promising defensive skills behind the plate, but what really piques the Yankees’ interest are his offensive capabilities.

The 25-year-old was steadily progressing through the Minnesota Twins farm system before being included in the trade that sent Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez to Minnesota. He has played 39 games at the MLB level, all in 2021 with the Twins. Although his batting average was a low .169 with a .229 OBP, he did display commendable defensive metrics. In 55 innings of play, he did not allow a passed ball and caught two out of ten runners attempting to steal.

However, it’s not likely that we’ll see Rortvedt in frequent MLB action, especially when Treviño returns. The Yankees plan to give him some downtime after a few challenging weeks of battling individual injuries.

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