Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez will undergo surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder this offseason, general manager Brian Cashman tells reporters at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. (Twitter links via Lindsey Adler of The Athletic). The shoulder has bothered him since 2017 and been treated with cortisone shots in the past, but Sanchez aggravated it while working out in Tampa this past week.
The timeline for Sanchez’s recovery is about three months, and the current projection is that he’ll be ready for Opening Day. That timeline will push Sanchez’s recovery right up to the point at which pitchers and catchers are set to report to Spring Training. Any setbacks or delays, then, could call into question his availability for the beginning of the regular season. In the event that he’s not ready, however, Cashman indicated the team is comfortable with Austin Romine stepping up as the primary catcher early in the 2019 season (Twitter link via SNY’s Andy Martino).
Sanchez, who’ll turn 26 in December, endured multiple DL stints in 2018 for a different injury — a right groin strain that limited him to 89 games and 374 plate appearances in 2018. It seems safe to assume that the groin injury, paired with the now-known left shoulder troubles, played a significant role in the downturn in Sanchez’s prodigious offensive output. After hitting a combined .284/.354/.568 with 53 home runs and 32 doubles through 754 plate appearances between 2016-17, Sanchez slumped to a .186/.291/.406 slash line this past season.