If not for Jose Trevino’s emergence, presumptive Yankees starting catcher Kyle Higashioka would be firmly placed under the microscope in the Bronx at the moment. Yes, even more so than he currently is, ranking among the worst-performing regular position players in MLB with his 45 OPS+, buoyed only by his pair of solo home runs on Sunday.
About those homers, too. One came in the bottom of the eighth inning against first baseman Frank Schwindel, and the 35.1 MPH pitch Higgy drilled into the left-field seats was the slowest hit for a homer in the modern game. The other arrived earlier, breaking a power drought that had lasted since spring training, when Higashioka went Monster Mode and drilled seven homers in 11 games.
Again, since then? Two. And two that were very recent. Decidedly un-fun.
Turns out, though, that Trevino has saved Higashioka’s bacon in 2022 in more ways than one. If not for Trev Dog’s emergence, the Yankees’ other catcher would be getting much more scrutiny; now, he’s a frustrating footnote. More specifically, though, Trevino reportedly gave Higgy a few pointers on Sunday that led directly to a pair of bombs (the first one off a real pitcher)!
According to Higashioka, Trevino — laid up with a minor back issue and on the bench Sunday — noticed a flaw in his swing, which Higgy corrected between at-bats No. 1 and 2.
The result? Bombs away and a 9-1 lead that turned Sunday into a happy laugher.
Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka got his season turned around by Jose Trevino
That’s what friends are fooooooorrrrr!
Even with Higashioka’s historic struggles (and Aaron Hicks’, and Joey Gallo’s …), the Yankees have still won 11 of their past 12, buoyed by unexpected contributors like Matt Carpenter, Clay Holmes, and catcher/assistant coach/spark plug/whisperer to the great beyond Trevino.
The late-spring acquisition from Texas has been the symbolic figure who best represents the 2022 Yankees’ start to the season. And if he can get Higashioka going at even a league-average level, he’ll be revered as an even brighter star than he already is. Long live the king.