Did Austin Wells blow golden opportunity with Jose Trevino resurgence?

Don't let the Trev Dog get hot.
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

Three weeks ago, it felt like Jose Trevino was a backup catcher living in a starting catcher's body, thanks to his 2022 All-Star season, and that was perfectly okay. Now? The presumptive starting-catcher-in-waiting is the one bunting for hits just to feel something, while Trevino is slugging his way into above-average offensive numbers.

What happened? How did the Yankees get here? Either way, things haven't gone according to plan for Austin Wells, who is likely enthused by his team's success, while still bewildered at how he became the Powerless One.

Wells' batted-ball luck has been horrific so far; he's barreled, walked and slugged at rates that would portend an impressive April. Instead, he's hitting .132 with a .432 OPS/32 OPS+, and has mostly been applauded when he lays 'em down to beat the defense. He hasn't proven he can hit 'em over the defense yet this year, as his homerless streak rivals Gleyber Torres' much-discussed slump.

Meanwhile, the flip side of the equation has gone quite poorly for Wells, who was probably hoping his scuffles wouldn't be noticed, and the Yankees' relatively hot start would afford him time to dig out. Fan favorite Jose Trevino, somewhat surprisingly, has paired the ability to be an offensive force with his world-class defense (Wells' framing has also graded out well thus far in 2024, to be fair).

Trevino clanged his second homer of the season off the foul pole in right on Thursday (in what might've been the game's only highlight), and finished the A's series hitting .273 with a .409 SLG and 126 wRC+ (100 being average). It's early, and there's plenty of room for variance in both Trevino's pop and Wells' drudgery. But it certainly feels like Wells had a chance to streak ahead of Trevino early, and the Baseball Gods somehow robbed him of it.

Yankees C Austin Wells' bad luck slots him behind Jose Trevino

Unfortunately, no matter who seizes the role behind the plate, one issue remains. Neither catcher seems particularly equipped to stall the running game this year, with Wells being unable to build on his momentum from gunning down Mauricio Dubon in his MLB debut, and Trevino catching two runners in eight attempts this season.

The Yankees intended to rely on offensive force from the catching position only when Wells was behind the plate. Instead, they're getting it from the other guy, while neither player has been complete on the defensive end.

Regardless of who steps up and in which direction, the Yankees are still hoping to complete the full puzzle soon. Wells, for now, has fallen quite surprisingly behind.