Sanchez strains biceps, headed to DL

Yankees catcher injured fouling off fastball

Sanchez strains biceps, headed to DL

BALTIMORE -- The Yankees view Gary Sanchez as one of the most indispensable members of their lineup, but they now must figure out how to win games without the star catcher.

Sanchez was removed from Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Orioles after sustaining a right biceps strain on a fifth-inning foul ball. Sanchez was placed on the 10-day disabled list when the Yankees called up Kyle Higashioka on Sunday to share catching duties with Austin Romine.

The injury occurred when Sanchez fouled off a 97-mph offering from the Orioles' Kevin Gausman. Sanchez attempted a practice swing but once again experienced discomfort, and he was led off the field after a brief consultation with manager Joe Girardi and assistant athletic trainer Michael Schuk.

"It felt kind of like when you pull a hamstring," Sanchez said. "It was the same feeling. After I felt it, I tried to do a warmup swing and I couldn't do it."

Sanchez on right biceps strain

Girardi said that Sanchez will undergo further testing when the team returns to New York after this weekend's series, which will help to determine the timetable for his return.

"It's his right biceps, which is his throwing arm, so that plays into it, as well," Girardi said. "So you have to be concerned. I think we'll know a lot more in a couple days, depending on how sore he is and the severity of it."

Higashioka will join the team on Sunday in Baltimore. The 26-year-old was placed on the 40-man roster this past offseason after batting .276/.337/.511 with 21 home runs and 81 RBIs in 102 games between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Higashioka's two-run homer

"It's an opportunity for other guys to step up," Girardi said. "Romine and Higgy are going to have to step up in his absence. It's not what you want to see. The young kid is very talented and he's done some really good things in his short career, but the other guys get an opportunity now."

Romine nabs Rickard at second

Romine said that losing Sanchez leaves a hole in the batting order.

"You lose your starting catcher, it's huge for any team," Romine said. "He's in the middle of our lineup, he's one of our [main] guys. Hopefully it's quick and he can come back to help us win games."

Sanchez, 24, was named the Yankees' Opening Day catcher after finishing second in the American League Rookie of the Year race last year. He hit his first dinger of 2017 in Friday's 6-5 loss to the Orioles, a two-run shot.

Sanchez's two-run home run

"Injuries are part of the game," Sanchez said. "I feel positive. I want to stay positive. I want to get back as soon as possible and help the team."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.