Yankees unveil catching plans to start series against Cleveland

New York Yankees, Zach Britton
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Well, the move that everyone was waiting for is officially made, the New York Yankees will start backup catcher Kyle Higashioka for Game 1 against the Indians. This move is definitely a very decisive one for many Yankee fans.

Gary Sanchez this year has struggled, and Kyle has paired with Cole nicely it seems. This being said, the Yankees are sacrificing a lot of offensive potential in return for Kyle Higashioka. When you sit down your young catcher for his backup, you have a lot of explaining to do. Whether this is a permanent fixture or not remains to be seen, however, this isn’t a new trend for Gerrit Cole.

A History of Backup Catchers

Gerrit Cole in the 2019 ALCS against the New York Yankees in Game 3 had done the same thing. Robinson Chirinos and his 113 wRC+ was benched for Martin Maldonado and his 76 wRC+. This is because Maldonado was the personal catcher of Cole, despite him being a massive liability offensively. While this news might contribute toward more El Gary hostility, this is just a trend set long before Cole was a Yankee. While the decision might be shocking to some, the Yankees are simply playing a numbers game.

Are the Yankees Potentially Making a Mistake?

In my opinion, they could be, as Gary Sanchez has had historically unlucky batted ball luck. I don’t see Higgy staying in the game when we need a hit late in the game. Cole will most likely not be in the 9th inning, so I imagine Gary Sanchez will be off the bench eventually in Game 1. You always roll with your best players, and Gary is our best catcher right now no question.

That doesn’t detract from the fact that this may just be how it was always going to be. Yes Gary’s bat when hot is incredible, but he hopefully won’t be the difference between an early exit and a deep postseason run. This lineup is simply filled with so many sluggers that the Yankees shouldn’t feel the harm of losing Sanchez too badly.

The lineup isn’t officially set, but this answers one of the most glaring questions for Game 1’s lineup.