When the New York Yankees traded for Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Minnesota Twins, they also included catcher Ben Rortvedt in their plans to utilize a platoon with Kyle Higashioka potentially. However, Rortvedt came to the Yankees with an oblique injury that has kept him out for the first few weeks of the season.
Luckily, Rortvedt is just starting to make his way back from the injury, which has stopped him from swinging properly due to its nature.
According to the Yankees’ PR team, Ben Rortvedt is starting his rehab assignment:
Today, C Ben Rortvedt commences a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa.
Last season with Minnesota, Rortvedt featured in 39 games, hitting .169 with three homers and seven RBIs. He featured a 29% hard-hit rate, 6.5% barrel rate, and 111.4 max exit velocity. His 13.7 launch angle is a number the Yankees probably liked to see and something they can expand upon, given his jacked frame.
Defensively, he posted a .989 fielding percentage with two passed balls and nine stolen bases allowed. However, he did post seven caught stealing attempts, which is just below 50%.
Due to Rortvedt’s injury, the Yankees were forced to make a move in free agency, signing Jose Trevino, former Texas Rangers catcher. So far this season, Trevino has been solid calling games and framing pitches but is hitting just .161 with three RBIs. He’s only struck out on 6.1% of his 33 plate appearances.
The problem is, Higashioka hasn’t been any better offensively, hitting .152 with four RBIs and a 23.1% strikeout rate. On paper, Trevino has been the better catcher up to this point, but the Yankees are still confident Higashioka can turn things around, given his electric spring training performance.
Getting Rortvedt back could be beneficial, given his raw power and fantastic arm behind home plate. The Yankees’ starting pitchers have been performing extraordinarily well this season, though, so I doubt management wants to mess with the catching situation for the time being.