Barring a last minute trade, the Yankees plan to platoon Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt behind the plate this season. At least, once Rortvedt recovers from the oblique injury the Yankees apparently knew about before trading for him. Now that the Gary Sánchez era is over, the Yankees are taking the all-glove-no-bat route at catcher this season.
This is something the Yankees tried almost a decade ago with Chris Stewart, except this time, the team has two defensive minded players at the position. Effectively punting a lineup spot is a bit of a gamble, but the Yankees are counting on not only the defense making it worthwhile, but also the rest of its lineup’s stars hiding this lineup spot.
As important as defense and a healthy rapport with the pitching staff is, how little offense is tolerable? Sánchez received plenty of boos for his missteps behind the dish (and yes, on offense too), but it’s not like blocking or framing a pitch are actively appreciated by most folks. So, on the other hand, I can’t imagine fans will hold back boos if and when Higgy or Rortvedt kill rallies this summer. Not that the Yankees’ front office takes too much stock in crowd sentiment, of course.