ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was put back on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday because of a strained right groin, a day after failing to hustle on a pair of key plays in a 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay.
Sanchez missed 20 games from June 25 to July 19 because of the groin injury.
“We had an MRI yesterday, and it showed the same injury, same spot, same location,” Sanchez said through a translator. “So, re-aggravated the injury.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone had no firm timetable for Sanchez’s return.
“I think that will become more clear over the next few days,” Boone said. “I do think it will be at least a couple weeks.”
After Monday night’s game, Sanchez said that the groin issues were “definitely behind me” and that “it’s about doing a better job overall.”
“Being tight in a certain part of your body, I’m used to that,” Sanchez said. “You keep playing and eventually they go away. I mentioned it after the game it felt a little tight.”
Austin Romine was behind the plate for Tuesday night’s game at the Rays, and Kyle Higashioka was recalled for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the first inning Monday when Jake Bauers scored from second on Sanchez’s 10th passed ball, which tied for the major league lead. Sanchez reached out and let a breaking ball from Luis Severino glance off his glove and right foot, then slowly chased the ball as it bounced toward the third base coaching box.
“It grabbed on me the first inning,” Sanchez said. “The play in the first inning. I didn’t say anything then. To me it was trying to get through it and keep helping the team.”
Severino appeared angry as he spoke with Sanchez in the dugout after the inning, an encounter caught by a television camera.
New York loaded the bases in the ninth when Sanchez batted with two outs. He grounded to second baseman Daniel Robinson, who flipped to shortstop Willy Adames. While Aaron Hicks beat the throw to second, Sanchez jogged up the first-base line and was thrown out by an alert Adames.
Hicks limped off the field following the slide and was out of Tuesday’s starting lineup.
“A little banged up going in there,” Boone said. “I just think he got a little beat up in the game. He should be back in there tomorrow.”
Sanchez was criticized by then-manager Joe Girardi after a passed ball last summer and was benched for two games. Sanchez’s 16 passed balls tied Yasmani Grandal for the big league lead last year, when Sanchez was behind the plate for 53 wild pitches. Sanchez has been behind the plate for 35 wild pitches this year.
“When the other team scores runs, and basically you end up losing the game because it’s your fault, you feel bad for your teammates, you feel bad for the fans because you want to give them maximum effort,” Sanchez said.
Boone and Sanchez had a postgame meeting Monday, mostly dealing with Sanchez’s performance. The groin issue was mentioned by Sanchez at the end of the meeting.
“I think he was out there and in a place that he felt like he certainly could have given more and should have given more,” Boone said. “I think they’re a little bit separate. I think there’s no doubt the injury cut into that a little bit, but I think he felt like he was sound enough to be giving a couple of those situations a stronger effort.”
“I’m going to bet on the player and the guy,” Boone added. “He’s not a finished product necessarily yet, but I think we’re all going to be a part of helping him get there. When he does, I think we’ll have a special player, a special person. I know deep down he really cares about his craft, his teammates.”
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