Gary Sanchez
Kathy Willens/AP Photo

The HR-happy New York Yankees may get even more power back on Friday in the form of rehabbing catcher Gary Sanchez.

Aaron Case

Good news on the injury front, New York Yankees fans. It’s time to release the rehabbing Kraken!

Bombers catcher Gary Sanchez has been out since Jul. 23 with a groin injury. However, the Yankees expect their All-Star backstop back in the lineup on Friday.

The 26-year-old successfully completed his second rehab game with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursday. He went 1-for-5 in the two games, with one walk, one run scored, and one strikeout.

This is Sanchez’s second rehab assignment of 2019. The first was a one-game stint with the single-A Charleston RiverDogs on Apr. 22, in which he went hitless in three at-bats.

Sanchez saw his slash line drop to a suboptimal .229/.299/.508 before his injury. Still, he has amassed 24 home runs and 58 RBIs in 77 games this season for the New York Yankees.

In his absence, backups Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka have stepped up big time.

Romine has reached base in all nine games he’s played since Sanchez went down. The 30-year-old veteran is a torrid 11-for-28 during that stretch, with three doubles, four homers, and 11 RBIs.

Higashioka, 29, is 7-for-24 with two doubles, three bombs, and 8 RBI in six games as Romine’s backup. His last game was a two-homer, five-RBI gem on Aug. 7.

The 2019 next-man-up theme is alive and well at the catcher position.

Despite Romine and Higashioka’s hotness, New York Yankees fans will be happy to see the Kraken back in action. Even though he hit the IL in the midst of a cold streak, he’s always on the verge of catching fire and carrying his club with bomb after bomb.

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