ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Gary Sanchez stayed overnight in Tampa on Sunday night hoping for the best.
The catcher, who left Sunday’s game after suffering what he called a groin injury while trying to beat out a double-play ball in the 10th inning, will have an MRI on Monday. “It’s bothering me right now,’’ he said after the Yankees’ 7-6, 12-inning loss to the Rays.
On Sunday night, general manager Brian Cashman told Bruce Beck on NBC’s “Sports Final’’ that Sanchez will go on the disabled list and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher Kyle Higashioka will join the Yankees in Philadelphia on Monday. Higashioka will back up Austin Romine.
“What can I say? That’s how baseball is sometimes,” Sanchez said through his translator. “You never want something bad to happen, but it’s part of baseball. Now I’m just hoping it’s not a long time. I have to keep my head up and come back as soon as possible.”
Sanchez is hitting .190 with a .291 on-base percentage but has 14 homers, 14 doubles and 41 RBIs, fourth on the club.
“You never want to see your starter go down, especially the type of caliber player that Gary is. He’s an All-Star,” said Romine, who has a .305/.370/.524 slash line in what has been by far the best of his seven major-league seasons. “But we have to move forward. I have to fill in as best I can and I’m looking forward to playing.”
CC to face Red Sox
The Yankees set their rotation for the Phillies series, going with Jonathan Loaisiga on Monday, Luis Severino on Tuesday and Luis Cessa on Wednesday.
The choice of Cessa will give CC Sabathia extra rest and also allows him to open next weekend’s series against the Red Sox on Friday at the Stadium.
“With the stretch we’ve been in, we just really value giving an extra day and CC actually having an extra two days now with the off day [Thursday] and then being able to start the first game against Boston,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We just felt it was really valuable.”
Masahiro Tanaka, on the disabled list since June 9 with hamstring strains in both legs, threw a 26-pitch bullpen session Sunday.
What most encouraged him? “Just being able to throw without feeling anything in the hamstrings, No. 1,” he said through his translator. “And No. 2 is that the arm strength is still there, just being able to really throw with some force on it.’’
He’ll throw a bullpen session Tuesday and likely will pitch a simulated game Friday.
Giancarlo Stanton’s homer off lefthander Vidal Nuño, a tying shot in the eighth, made him 26-for-76 (.342) with 10 homers and 20 RBIs against lefties this season. Stanton, who went 5-for-5 with a walk, had four hits against righthanders, making him 50-for-214 (.234) with nine homers and 24 RBIs against them.