Manager Aaron Boone said Thursday that who starts at catcher between Higashioka and Gary Sanchez will be a "day-to-day situation," Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports.
Higashioka has already cut substantially into the struggling Sanchez's playing time, going 7-for-21 with three homers while making six starts behind the dish since Sept.11. Though Sanchez obviously has the edge over Higashioka with regard to postseason experience, it sounds like the catching duties will at least begin as a fluid situation when the Yankees open their wild-card series Tuesday.
Higashioka went 3-for-4 with three home runs, five RBI and three runs scored Wednesday against the Blue Jays.
Higashioka emerged as an unlikely hero, delivering the second multi-homer game of his career. He went yard in the third, sixth and seventh innings, bringing his total on the campaign to four. Higashioka remains the backup catcher in New York and has only 36 plate appearances to this point in the season.
Higashioka went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run during a 6-0 win over the Orioles in the first game of Friday's doubleheader.
He took Alex Cobb deep in the second inning, giving Higashioka his first long ball and first RBI of the season. The 30-year-old has seen an uptick in playing time due to Gary Sanchez's struggles, starting five of the last 12 games, but as yet Higashioka hasn't been able to consistently take advantage of his opportunities.
Higashioka (oblique) was reinstated from the injured list Tuesday.
Higashioka had been out since early August with a strained right oblique. He'd only appeared in three games prior to suffering the injury, going 2-for-9 at the plate. He'll split time with Erik Kratz behind starting backstop Gary Sanchez for now.
Higashioka (oblique) is "really close" to being ready to return and could do so in the next few days, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports.
Higashioka has been on the injured list since Aug. 8 but has recently begun to ramp up his activity. "Kyle's really close. I would expect him to be joining us in the next couple of days," manager Aaron Boone indicated Sunday. Kuty notes that the Yankees could be faced with having to either designate current backup catcher Erik Kratz for assignment or keep three catchers on the squad when Higashioka returns.
Higashioka (oblique) took at-bats and caught in a simulated game at the Yankees' alternate training site Thursday, Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune reports.
Higashioka has been out since Aug. 8 with a strained right oblique. Manager Aaron Boone indicated Aug. 19 that the backstop wasn't close to returning, but an additional week of recovery seems to have pushed Higashioka to the brink of rejoining the team. Assuming Thursday's session went off without a hitch, Higashioka should come off the injured list in the near future. He would presumably resume his backup role to Gary Sanchez upon his return.
Higashioka (oblique) has begun swinging a bat and is reportedly feeling no discomfort, though the team has not announced a timetable for his return, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone indicated Tuesday that Higashioka will not be returning "anytime real soon," so the team may be taking a cautious approach with him despite the fact that the backstop has been ramping up his intensity of late. With the Yankees' weekend series against the Mets canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, Higashioka could end up taking on extra duty down the line if the Yankees are forced to make up the missed contests with doubleheaders.
Higashioka (oblique) has been ramping up his activity, but the timeline for his return to action remains uncertain, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone gave an update on Higashioka on Tuesday, indicating, "He's not going to be coming off anytime real soon here, but it is going well and he continues to ramp up from a from a workload standpoint. But nothing imminent right now." The backstop was placed on the 10-day injured list Aug. 8 after being diagnosed with a right oblique strain. In his absence, Eric Kratz has gotten into three games (two starts), going 1-for-5 with a walk and a run.
Higashioka was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a right oblique strain.
Higashioka's last start came Wednesday, but he apparently suffered an oblique injury during the contest. To take his place as the backup catcher behind Gary Sanchez for the time being, the Yankees signed Erik Kratz to a major-league contract. It's unclear how much time Higashioka will miss.
Higashioka (neck) is in the lineup for Thursday's intrasquad matchup, Marly Rivera of ESPN reports.
Higashioka was sidelined for several days while nursing a sore neck, but he's healthy enough to start behind the plate during Thursday's intrasquad game. The 30-year-old should be able to resume preparations to serve as the Yankees' backup catcher ahead of the regular season.
Manager Aaron Boone said Higashioka sat out Tuesday's intrasquad game due to "some slight neck soreness," Erik Boland of Newsday reports.
Higashioka apparently picked up the injury while catching during Monday's instrasquad action. The 30-year-old is likely to take things slow for a couple days before returning behind the plate. He's poised to serve as the top backup to Gary Sanchez when healthy.
Higashioka has been getting in swings by hitting off a pitching machine at his home in Oregon, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports.
In a video posted to his personal Instagram account Thursday, Higashioka can be seen hitting bombs off a machine loaded by his wife at their home. The 2020 campaign figures to be the most important of the backstop's career as he is expected to open the season as the Yankees' No. 2 catcher for the first time.
Higashioka appears to have won the No. 2 backstop role behind Gary Sanchez, George A. King III of the New York Post reports.
After toiling in the minors for the better part of 12 seasons, Higashioka is in line to assume a spot on the Opening Day roster of a major-league team for the first time in his career. Though the 29-year-old has hit only .164 across 146 big-league at-bats, he slugged 20 homers while hitting .278 in only 70 Triple-A games in 2019 and was enjoying a strong spring, batting .276 with three home runs over 29 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Higashioka is the front-runner to back up Gary Sanchez at catcher, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
Higashioka spent much of last season in the minors, hitting .278 with 20 home runs and 56 RBI with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Though he has hit only .164 in 146 career major-league at-bats, the Yankees are optimistic that the 29-year-old is capable of holding down the No. 2 backstop role behind Sanchez. Higashioka will be competing for the spot with a host of veterans -- including Chris Iannetta, Erik Kratz and Josh Thole -- but strong defense, tenure in the organization and a lack of minor-league options are certainly factors working in his favor.
Higashioka will take on a "fairly even" split in catching duties while Gary Sanchez (groin) is on the shelf, Jordan Horrobin of MLB.com reports.
Though the Yankees are optimistic that Sanchez will make it back by the end of the season, he is likely to miss around two weeks, giving Higashioka a chance to showcase his abilities down the stretch. Manager Aaron Boone indicated that the decision to split time behind the plate between Higashioka and Austin Romine was made in order to protect both catchers from fatigue. Higashioka started Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader and is back in the lineup, slotted eighth in the batting order, for Saturday's tilt against Toronto.
Higashioka was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday.
Higashioka will join the Yankees as the team's third catcher after playing through the playoffs with the RailRiders. The 29-year-old has an .840 OPS in 40 plate appearances while filling in for the Yankees this season.
Higashioka was sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Saturday's game against the Blue Jays.
He logged a two-homer game against the Orioles in his last game with the big club, but he'ss return to serving as the organization's No. 3 catcher with Gary Sanchez (groin) back from the injured list.
Higashioka went 2-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in Wednesday's 14-2 win over the Orioles.
Higashioka had quite the coming-out party in the series finale, submitting his first multi-homer game while exceeding his combined RBI output (four) from his prior nine contests with the Yankees this season. The backstop has flashed some intriguing power both in the high minors and his limited time in the majors, but he probably won't get many more additional opportunities to showcase his skills. Gary Sanchez (groin) is on track to return from the injured list in a few days, and Higashioka is less likely than Austin Romine to stick around as the No. 2 catcher since he still has a minor-league option remaining.
Higashioka went 1-for-3 with a home run in Thursday's loss to the Red Sox.
Higashioka hit his first homer of the season with a solo shot off Rick Porcello in the fifth inning. The 29-year-old was recalled prior to Wednesday's game and will be serving as Austin Romine's backup with Gary Sanchez on the injured list (groin). Through 18 plate appearances this season, Higashioka is batting .222/.211/.500.
Higashioka was recalled by the Yankees on Wednesday.
Higashioka is needed to back up Austin Romine with Gary Sanchez landing on the injured list with a groin strain. Higashioka has gotten into 42 games with the Yankees over the last three seasons but done little at the plate, hitting .143/.209/.267.
|Last 7 Games|
|10/09||@ TB||L 1-2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10/08||vs TB||W 5-1||4||0||2||0||1||0||0|
|10/07||vs TB||L 4-8||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10/05||@ TB||W 9-3||4||2||2||1||1||1||0|
|09/29||@ CLE||W 12-3||5||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|09/25||vs MIA||L 3-4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/24||@ TOR||L 1-4||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2017||ASX-Staten Island Yankee||5||16||7||7||2||0||4||8||2||5||0||0||.438||.500||1.312|