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Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has to be removed after being hit in right hand by foul ball

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is checked on by

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is checked on by a trainer and Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had to be removed from Saturday’s game an inning after being hit in the index and middle fingers of his right hand by a foul ball, but X-rays came back negative and the team is confident the injury isn’t serious.

Sanchez, who got hit in the top of the fourth by Randy Arozarena’s foul tip and writhed in pain, flied out to center in the bottom of the inning. Then the hand began to swell and he was replaced by Kyle Higashioka.

The plan is to have Higashioka catch Gerrit Cole on Sunday in the series finale against the Rays and have Sanchez rest during the off-day Monday, Aaron Boone said.

"I definitely feel better right now than when it happened," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I have more movement in my fingers . . . If I keep improving the way I’m improving right now, I might be ready to play tomorrow."


Sanchez said he originally was not worried about the injury, but when the hand began to swell and lose mobility, he became concerned that it was broken.

"We did the test and they told me it was negative,’’ he said, ‘’and that gives you peace of mind."

Bruce odd man out

Boone said the team currently is committed to using DJ LeMahieu at first base and Rougned Odor at second, meaning there’s little room for Jay Bruce, who last played on April 14. Mike Ford and Tyler Wade also are future options, though they can’t be recalled from the alternate site until Tuesday, Boone said.

Extra bases

Michael King was sent to the alternate site Friday night after throwing 69 pitches in three scoreless innings against the Rays. He hasn’t allowed a run in nine innings this season . . . The Yankees recalled righty Brooks Kriske from the alternate site Saturday . . . Luke Voit (knee) is scheduled to begin hitting, Boone said, though the manager didn’t want to put a timeline on his return. "It shouldn’t be too far off now," he said. "We certainly like the progress he’s making."

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