Gary Sanchez Aggravates Groin Injury Along With Yankees Fans

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After a night of lethargic play that most likely cost his team the game, it looked like Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez might be headed for an extended stay in his manager’s doghouse. Instead, he landed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a right groin strain — the same injury that sidelined him last month.

Sanchez said he felt some tightness on Monday during the first inning of the Yankees’ loss, in which he casually jogged after a passed ball, allowing Jake Bauers to score from second base. In the ninth inning, when he came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, Sanchez jogged to first base on a grounder and was easily thrown out to end the game.

After the game, Sanchez, who has a history of lethargic play, refused to lean on the injury as a crutch for his lack of effort, and he reiterated those sentiments on Tuesday.

“An injury is never an excuse,” he said through an interpreter. “If I’m on the field, I’m good to play. I should have done a better job.”

Sanchez will spend a minimum of 10 days on the disabled list. Austin Romine, who was coincidentally awarded a Heart and Hustle Award by the team on Tuesday, played in his place, driving in two runs in a 4-0 victory over the Rays.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone emphasized that the team needed to see better effort from Sanchez. Boone also said that before he could seek out Sanchez for a talk following Monday night’s game, the catcher came to his office.

“It was mostly him being accountable for his effort,” Boone said. “He felt like he could’ve given more — certainly he could’ve given more. That’s something that needs to be better, period.”

Boone would not say what kind of discipline he might have given Sanchez had he not landed on the disabled list.

“I was prepared to handle it between he and I, and I’ll leave it at that,” he said.

Sanchez’s effort issues are nothing new. He was twice suspended in the minor leagues — once for refusing to warm up a pitcher. Last season, he was benched for two games by Manager Joe Girardi because of his poor defense and seeming apathy. It’s widely believed that Girardi’s inability to harness Sanchez’s talents helped lead to his ouster from the franchise after last season.

But it is Sanchez’s inability to harness his own talents, much less pitched baseballs, that is wearing on the team’s fan base, many of whom have voiced their displeasure on social media.

“Everyone is going to have an opinion,” Sanchez said. “To me, what’s important is helping the team.”

Since Sanchez emerged on the major league level late in the 2016 season, he has led all of M.L.B. in passed balls, with 32. Last season, his 16 passed balls tied him for the most in baseball with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, who played 118 more innings. But his defensive deficiencies go beyond passed balls. Yankees pitchers last season accumulated 53 wild pitches with Sanchez catching, and he was also cited for four catcher’s interference penalties, which tied him for most in M.L.B.

On top of it all, Sanchez has not produced at the plate this season, hitting just .188 entering Tuesday.

To take Sanchez’s place on the roster, the Yankees recalled catcher Kyle Higashioka from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. When Higashioka was called up last month to spell an injured Sanchez and a nicked Romine, he responded by hitting three home runs in his first three hits in pinstripes.

Aaron Hicks, the usual center fielder, was also out of the lineup Tuesday. Boone said he was banged up, but it didn’t go unnoticed that Hicks walked gingerly off the field after safely, though awkwardly, sliding into second base on the game-ending ground ball — the same one that saw Sanchez trotting casually to first.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page B11 of the New York edition with the headline: Sanchez Lands on D.L. After Aggravating an Injury and the Yankees. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe



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