Yankees catcher Jose Trevino uses a PitchCom device to signal...

Yankees catcher Jose Trevino uses a PitchCom device to signal a pitch during the eighth inning of an MLB baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, April 24, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Presumed backup catcher Jose Trevino started for the fourth time in six games against the Orioles Wednesday, and though Aaron Boone would not say Trevino has taken the job from Kyle Higashioka, the Yankees manager did allow that the 29-year-old from Corpus Christi has fully exceeded expectations.

“I figured we were getting a really good catcher and the early things we heard reputation-wise were excellent,” Boone said. “I would say that’s been surpassed in my eyes.”

The Yankees acquired Trevino — considered a defense-first catcher with a passable bat — only five days before the season after their other No. 2, Ben Rortvedt, injured his oblique. But Trevino, who's only played in 89 games over his previous three seasons, has proved to be more than passable. He came into the day hitting .278 in eight games, compared to Higashioka’s .111.

Boone said that the two will form a “tandem” — though the manager did raise some eyebrows Sunday when he had Trevino catch for Gerrit Cole, who generally throws to Higashioka.

“I don’t know” that Trevino’s starts are owed to Higashioka’s struggles at the plate, Boone said. “I think it’s more a product of Trevino and what I feel like he is as well. I still feel like Kyle is going to get it going. We’ll see that power stroke come. But the bottom line is that I feel like we’ve got two good ones that are probably going to share a lot of playing time.”

It helps, Boone said, that both are defensively gifted. 

“The tandem he’s forming with Higgy right now, I feel like we’re in such good hands defensively with those two guys. They’re commitment and their investment in the pitchers and the game plan has been exceptional.”

DJ streaking

DJ LeMahieu took a 12-game hitting streak into Wednesday’s game, and Boone seemed encouraged that these early returns could be indicative of another strong season. LeMahieu was fourth in the league in batting average in 2019 and first in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season (.364). He had a down year in 2021, batting .268 but came into the day hitting .339 with two homers and seven RBIs.

“The biggest thing has been the consistency of his at bats game in and game out,” Boone said. “There’s been very few where it’s been a throwaway at-bat. He’s just been looking really good to me. I’ve had people in my life who keep mentioning to me how excited they are about DJ and the way he looks.”

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