NEW YORK -- On occasions when their name will not appear in that evening's lineup, the Yankees' stars usually are alerted by a text message or some other communique from the manager's office. Gary Sanchez received no such notice on Tuesday, so he was caught off guard by an unwanted spot on the bench to open the Bombers' homestand.
Having delayed their conversation so it could be had in person, manager Aaron Boone told the slumping Sanchez that he also was unlikely to play in Wednesday's contest, with Austin Romine set to catch right-hander Sonny Gray in the finale of the two-game series vs. the Nationals. Boone added that he was not planning on using Sanchez as a DH for that game.
"I did not expect it," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "When I got here, I spoke to Boone and he told me that was the plan, to have a couple of days off. I respect his decision."
Over his last 15 games, Sanchez is hitting .075 (4-for-53) with just one extra-base hit and 18 strikeouts. Sanchez battled the benching, telling Boone that he wanted to play, but Boone said that he believes Sanchez is "a little banged up." He pointed to various ailments that the 25-year-old catcher has endured, including a sore right calf that continues to receive treatment.
"With the off-day yesterday and Sonny pitching tomorrow, I just felt like it's a chance to give him essentially three days to freshen him up a little bit, get some good days of recovery and work and then have back at it," Boone said. "More just the wear and tear he's taken over the course of the season."
Sanchez refused to use injuries as an excuse for his woes. Sanchez's slash line has fallen to .190/.291/.430 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 55 games; last year, he hit .283/.369/.507 with 13 homers and 40 RBIs through his first 55 games.
"The reason why I'm not hitting is because I'm missing pitches that I usually hit," Sanchez said. "That's the main reason. They're pitches that I don't miss, and unfortunately I've been missing those."
Boone said that hitting coach Marcus Thames has identified some mechanical tweaks for Sanchez to try, and that the break is more physical than mental, though Sanchez suggested that he may be pressing as a result of the slide.
"Maybe I'm overthinking a little bit too much," Sanchez said. "Maybe that's why I'm missing those pitches I usually don't miss. I'm sure that I'm going to get through this."
Call to The Show
Right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga will be recalled from Double-A Trenton to make his Major League debut against the Rays on Friday, Boone announced. Loaisiga will be making the spot start in place of injured right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who could miss a month with strains in both hamstrings.
"He's really talented," Boone said of Loaisiga. "We think he has a very bright future. The stuff is really good. He's a guy that pounds the strike zone. For being a young guy that's still only at Double-A, we ... don't feel like he'll be overwhelmed by pitching here at Yankee Stadium in the big leagues. We feel like his repertoire and stuff will allow him to have a chance to be successful for us."
Originally property of the Giants, Loaisiga (pronounced 'low-EYE-see-gah') has dominated this year in the Yanks' chain, making four starts at Class A Advanced Tampa and six at Double-A Trenton. In the 10 combined outings, the 23-year-old is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA, permitting 47 hits in 45 innings while striking out 58 and walking just four. The product of Managua, Nicaragua, was added to the Yankees' 40-man roster over the winter.
"We feel like Loaisiga coming up in a spot situation where we may only need him for a start -- two or three depending on Tanaka -- I certainly feel good about the decision to bring Jonathan up," Boone said. "I think he has a chance to come in, because of his stuff and the way he pounds the strike zone, I don't think he'll be overwhelmed by all of it. I think it's a sound decision."
On the dotted line
The Yankees have agreed to terms with more of their top selections in this year's MLB Draft, including catcher Josh Breaux, who was selected in the second round (61st overall) from McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. Breaux signed for $1.5 million, according to MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, above the pick value of $1,086,900.
Outfielder Ryder Green, the Yankees' third-round pick from Karns (Tenn.) High School, signed for $1 million (pick value: $576,400). Right-hander Frank German, a fourth-round pick from the University of North Florida, signed for $350,000 (pick value: $430,400). Right-hander Daniel Bies, a seventh-round pick from Gonzaga University, agreed to a $150,000 pact, below the pick value of $194,000.
Luis Cessa made his first Minor League rehab start on Monday for Class A Advanced Tampa at Clearwater, allowing two runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cessa walked four and struck out one, throwing 19 of 46 pitches for strikes. Boone said that Cessa was "healthy, but a little wild," and will be making a few more starts to build his stamina. Ultimately, the goal is to have Cessa starting at Triple-A or in the Majors.
This date in Yankees history
June 12, 2009: With two outs in the ninth inning and the Yankees trailing the Mets, 8-7, Alex Rodriguez lifted a popup to second baseman Luis Castillo. The ball popped out of Castillo's glove, allowing two runs to score as the Yankees celebrated a 9-8 victory at Yankee Stadium.