The Yankees announced that they have placed catcher Jose Trevino on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain. Fellow backstop Ben Rortvedt has been recalled to take his place on the active roster.
Trevino, 30, had spent the 2018-2021 seasons as a part-time catcher with the Rangers before the Yankees acquired him going into 2022. He already had a reputation as a glove-first backstop, tallying eight Defensive Runs Saved with Texas in 2021. He took that part of his game to new heights with the Yanks last year, accruing 21 DRS for the season, winning a Gold Glove and a Fielding Bible award. He also hit 11 home runs and slashed .248/.283/.388 for a wRC+ of 91.
He hasn’t quite been able to maintain that pace so far this year, as he’s hitting just .219/.265/.333 and his defense has been around league average. Nonetheless, it’s a frustrating development for the Yankees, for whom injuries have become an ongoing concern. Trevino joins Josh Donaldson, Oswald Peraza, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, Luis Gil, Scott Effross, Ian Hamilton, Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Loáisiga and Lou Trivino, who are all currently on the injured list, while they’ve also seen Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader miss some time. Despite all of those absences, the club is still hanging tough with a 25-20 record so far, but continually shuffling the deck chairs could become a growing concern over a long season unless the health situation improves.
As for Rortvedt, he was also acquired prior to the 2022 season, coming over from the Twins alongside Donaldson and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but has yet to appear in a game as a Yankee mostly due to injuries. He suffered an oblique injury in the spring of 2022 and then underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in April. He was eventually activated in August but was optioned to the minors. He did get recalled to the big league club in September but was optioned three days later without getting into a game. This year, Rortvedt underwent surgery in February on an aneurysm near the posterior in his left shoulder that was affecting his circulation. He began the year on the injured list and was activated a week ago but optioned to the minors again.
Given all of those hurdles, a running joke has developed among some Yankee fans that Rortvedt doesn’t even exist, but it now seems inevitable he will make his team debut at some point in the near future. He’ll likely be in the backup role in support of Kyle Higashioka, who had been backing up Trevino until now. Rortvedt has 39 games of MLB experience, which came with the Twins back in 2021. He hit just .169/.229/.281 but earned 5 DRS in that short time and has positive framing metrics.
The Yankees also announced that Kahnle will begin a rehab assignment today with Single-A Tampa. The 33-year-old was signed in the offseason to a two-year, $11.5M deal but has been on the IL all year so far due to biceps tendinitis. He was eventually transferred to the 60-day IL, meaning he won’t be eligible to return until next week but will likely need some time to get into game shape anyway. He has a career 3.78 ERA and 29.3% strikeout rate but has only thrown 13 2/3 innings since the end of 2019 due to various injuries.