After the Yankees had placed Gary Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list, the Bombers called up catcher Kyle Higashioka to replace him. “Higgy” as he has been known to his teammates drove down to Baltimore from Buffalo where he was playing with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Higashioka, 26, will be making his major-league debut when he gets in a game for the New York Yankees, this is after having a breakout season in 2016 where he .276 in 102 games between Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Due to two rain-outs, he only appeared in one game this season with Scranton.
Taking his place in Triple-A will be catcher Wilkin Castillo. Castillo, 32, was signed as a minor league free agent this past off season. He did not play in the Thunder’s opening game but owns a career .271/.310/.388 hitting line in the minors and hit .314/.333/.343 in 22 games in the majors.
Joining Castillo in Scranton will be left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery who is continuing his quest to be named the Yankees fifth starter. Montgomery, 24, made the opening day start for the Tampa Yankees this season due to the weather up north. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk in five innings in that game.
Chad Green relieved Montgomery on opening day and has been transferred to the roster of the Trenton Thunder after allowing a run on two hits in four innings in his first appearance of the year. Green went 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 12 games, eight starts, for the New York Yankees where he struck out 52 batters in 45 2/3 innings. With Triple-A Scranton last year he was 7-6 with a 1.52 ERA over 16 starts and 100 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings.
Catcher Jorge Saez is taking the spot that Castillo had in Trenton. Saez, 26, was a Rule-5 pick this past off season and went 2-for-9 in two games for the Tampa Yankees this year. In 298 minor league games, he hit .234/.321/.371.
After a 16-inning marathon loss last night the Tampa Yankees got some reinforcements for their bullpen when Christian Morris and Josh Roeder were transferred to their roster from Extended Spring Training. Catcher Wes Wilson will also join the T-Yanks after Saez was called up.
Morris, 23, pitched last season for the Charleston RiverDogs where he struck out 99 batters in 120 1/3 innings over 22 starts. He owned an 8-5 record and a 2.99 ERA while batters hit .336 against him. Roeder, 24, spent the last two seasons with the Staten Island Yankees where he was 4-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 35 games, one start, and struck out 73 batters in 71 1/3 innings.
Wilson, 27, has been with the Yankees since the 2011 season and is regarded as a leader among the Yankees minor leaguers. The last three seasons he has been with the Tampa Yankees and owned a career .218/.272/.273 hitting line over 181 minor league games.