The Yankees are giving catcher Gary Sanchez as much rest as he needs so he avoids a significant trip to the injured list like last season.
Sanchez, who was a designated hitter on Tuesday and pinch hit Wednesday, has been dealing with tightness in his legs for the past few days. This injury is not related to him taking a foul tip in the groin in Monday's game, however manager Aaron Boone said he would rather play it safe, especially with the Yankees off Thursday.
"With the off day [Thursday] and having a lot of guys down it is probably best to try and grab a couple of days here while we can," Boone said, according to the New York Post's George A. King III. "Just trying to be proactive. I want to make sure we are being smart about this and do all we can to keep him healthy. Making sure this doesn't become an issue."
Sanchez, who has six home runs this season, one off the MLB lead, had DL stints of 20 and 37 games from the same groin injury last year, appearing in just three games between June 25 and Aug. 31.
New York's current injury concerns are not lost on Boone. With Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar and Didi Gregorius among the injured Yankees, he doesn't want to risk anyone's health any more.
"Obviously, you want Gary in the lineup, but you always have to keep the big picture in mind,'' Boone said. "If we lose him for an extended period that hurts us a lot more. We have to be smart with these guys."
Sanchez was not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Astros but pinch hit for Tyler Wade in the eighth inning with the game-tying run on third base. His struggles as a pinch hitter continued as he struck out on an 82 mph Ryan Pressly curveball.
In nine career pinch-hit appearaces, Sanchez is 0-for-9 with seven strikeouts.