Yankees are optimistic Gary Sanchez can return before the season ends from groin strain
For the second time this season Gary Sanchez suffered a left groin strain on Thursday and he did it while attempting to steal second base against the Tigers. With a little over three weeks to go until the start of the ALDS, the Yankees are optimistic that their All-Star catcher can return before the regular season ends.
Once the news broke that Sanchez left Thursday’s game with groin tightness you knew it wasn’t good. As was the case with the injury to Edwin Encarnacion (oblique strain), this couldn’t have happened at a worse possible time for the Yankees with the playoffs right around the corner.
Earlier this season when Sanchez hurt his groin the first time he missed 16 games and according to Gary this injury feels very similar to the previous one. Aaron Boone said the same thing when he met with reporters prior to Friday night’s game and revealed what the MRO showed. That’s somewhat encouraging, but with only 14 games to go, it might be tough for him to make it back before the regular season ends on September 28th.
The Yankees would obviously like to see him play in a couple of games before the ALDS starts on October 4th to get some at-bats, but the most important thing is that he’s back behind the plate for Game 1. That might be in jeopardy too depending on how he responds to treatment this time around, although considering it is the playoffs I think we all expect to see Sanchez in the lineup whether even if he’s not 100% healthy.
This marks the fourth time now Sanchez has injured his groin over the past two seasons after he was forced to the IL two separate times for a right groin strain in 2018. Every time he runs the bases now I hold my breath, especially when he has to push it as hard as he did on Thursday.
I don’t know why Gary Sanchez, a catcher, was trying to steal in a 3-0 game with two outs against the worst team in baseball in the middle of September. He hasn’t stolen a base all season and yet there he was trying to catch the Tigers sleeping on a rainy day when the field conditions weren’t good. Boone said after the game that he opened up the steal because the Tigers weren’t holding him on at first base which means he gave Sanchez the option to go if he felt he could make it.
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It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this was just Boone trying to protect one of his players like he always does and not throw Sanchez under the bus. Regardless, it was a terrible decision to run and moving forward I hope Gary learned his lesson and won’t attempt to do something like that ever again.
In the meantime, Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka should do a fine job filling in for the rest of the regular season just like they always do. However, make no mistake about it, the Yankees need the Kraken to return if they’re going to win a championship this October.
He’s one of their cornerstone players and the impact he makes on both sides of the ball can’t be understated.