The New York Yankees catching situation for 2024 is something worth closely monitoring down the stretch because there's almost a guarantee two of Ben Rortvedt, Kyle Higashioka and Jose Trevino will be gone, with a much greater emphasis on the first two.
Austin Wells is more than likely here to stay and he should catch Gerrit Cole a couple times before the season ends so the ace can give his evaluation of the top prospect, but it should probably also happen because Cole doesn't seem to enjoy having Rortvedt behind the plate (even though he's Cole's "personal catcher" at the moment).
Fans have seen Cole get on Rortvedt in previous outings as they've communicated in animated fashion between innings in the dugout, but Sunday's series finale against the Brewers perhaps put it all over the top.
Not only did Rortvedt nearly take Cole's head off with an irresponsible throw to second base after failing to keep a pitch in front of him, but he was seemingly getting on the pitcher's nerves all afternoon.
We can't say Rortvedt's done a bang-up job calling games behind the plate, and Cole's behavior Sunday reinforced that. If you can't call a game for the AL Cy Young frontrunner, then how can you help a decimated/young pitching staff?
Gerrit Cole openly savaging Ben Rortvedt helps further explain Yankees' problems
You know what's odd? In some capacity, fans are looking for this. They're looking for teammates to chew one another out when somebody isn't playing up to standard, carrying their weight or being supportive.
This just seems to be another case of the right thing happening in the wrong circumstance. Does Cole need to be chewing out someone who in no shape or form is part of the Yankees' future? Who has played 29 career games in the Bronx and 68 overall in MLB? During a completely lost season? When much better players have disappointed far worse?
It's kind of like the Harrison Bader-Jake Bauers staredown. Bader's disgust and disdain was palpable. In no way was that a "teaching moment" for Bauers, much like how Cole's head-shaking and outward frustration weren't that for Rortvedt, either.
Or maybe they were, and Cole is doing his duty as team leader. But we've never really seen anything like this out of the right-hander, which has fans wondering if frustrations are finally boiling over and some of the team's best performers have had enough as this taxing campaign continues to wear us all down.
It's at least worth wondering if this is a peek into the team's deteriorating chemistry, which has more often than not been a concerning talking point for four straight seasons. We'd rather it be the Yankees' veterans taking a more hands-on approach with players that need a kick in the rear end, though.