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Yanks place Sanchez (left calf strain) on IL

@BryanHoch
April 12, 2019

NEW YORK – The early-season injury woes are approaching a comical level for the Yankees, who placed catcher Gary Sánchez on the 10-day injured list with a left calf strain on Friday. Sanchez is the 12th Yankees player to land on the injured list, though left-hander CC Sabathia is set

NEW YORK – The early-season injury woes are approaching a comical level for the Yankees, who placed catcher Gary Sánchez on the 10-day injured list with a left calf strain on Friday.

Sanchez is the 12th Yankees player to land on the injured list, though left-hander CC Sabathia is set to be reinstated prior to Saturday's game against the White Sox at Yankee Stadium. The club recalled catcher Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Sanchez’s spot on the active roster, with Austin Romine set to take over as the starting catcher.

"I'm definitely surprised," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "I was feeling fine and good to play. Once they gave me the news that there was a small strain, you feel frustrated. The way you feel and where we are as a team, I want to play. I want to help. So that is frustrating -- very frustrating."

Though Sanchez said that he "feels good" and lobbied to play through the injury, the Yankees opted to exercise caution and shelve the 26-year-old backstop. Manager Aaron Boone said that Sanchez will perform only upper-body exercises for five days, and he is "optimistic" that Sanchez will be able to return in close to the minimum of 10 days.

"When you do have a little bit of a strain in there, it gets pretty easy to injure those things and then it becomes a four-, six-, eight-week type thing -- or best case, it lingers and it's an issue," Boone said. "I think the best case right now is to take him out of it. Hopefully, it's something that is a pretty short stint."

Sanchez was held out of New York's lineup on Wednesday after he felt tightness in his lower half during Monday’s matchup against the Astros. He served as the designated hitter on Tuesday and was used as a pinch-hitter on Wednesday. Sanchez said that the pinch-hit appearance did not aggravate his injury.

"The only time that I felt the tightness of the leg was after the first game," Sanchez said. "They did an MRI and it showed a small strain, so [they wanted] to be cautious and smart about it, take care of it now instead of letting it get worse."

Coming off an injury-marred 2018 campaign, Sanchez had been off to a hot start at the plate, slashing .268/.333/.732 with six home runs and 11 RBIs. He crushed three home runs -- all with exit velocities of at least 108 mph -- in the Yankees' 15-3 win Sunday against the Orioles.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.