HOUSTON — Add Gary Sanchez to the list of Yankees battling discomfort of some kind.
Though in this case, at least at the moment, it doesn’t look as if the catcher’s name will be added to an already packed injured list.
Sanchez, who felt what he described as some “tightness” in his calf area on Monday, was the DH Tuesday night as a result and made it through most of that game.
But the sensation returned toward the end of the 6-3 loss so as a precaution Aaron Boone felt it wise to keep him out of Wednesday night’s series finale against the Astros, though Sanchez said he would be available.
“I’ll be ready in any moment during the game,” Sanchez said Wednesday afternoon through his translator. “If I need to come in and hit I’ll be ready.”
Sanchez, of course, had two separate stints on the disabled list last season because of a right groin strain so anything leg-related for the 26-year-old can’t be dismissed out of hand as insignificant.
“I want to make sure we’re being smart about this and making sure we’re doing all we can to keep him healthy,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game. “Obviously he’s so important to what we do, so just trying to be proactive with making sure this doesn’t become an issue.”
Sanchez entered Wednesday hitting .275 with a team-best 1.091 OPS and six homers and 11 RBIs, also team-highs. Boone said even with his club having lost the first two games of the series it wasn’t a difficult decision to sit Sanchez.
“Obviously I want Gary in the lineup right now, but you also always have to keep the big picture in mind,” Boone said. “If we lose him for an extended period, that hurts a lot more, so you’ve got to, especially in the early stages of the season, you have to be smart with guys and do all we can to make sure we stay healthy.”
The Yankees already have 11 players on the IL, with one of them, CC Sabathia, set to come off of it this weekend. Boone said the 38-year-old lefthander will start Saturday afternoon against the White Sox and Ivan Nova, a former Yankee.