“It’s been bothering him on-and-off since (2017),’’ Cashman said at the GM meetings on Wednesday. “He just again resumed workouts and still felt a little bit lingering from it. We could continue with the conservative treatment and hope it will get better but we’re going to go the other route and just get ahead of if it.’’
Cashman said Sanchez was treated twice during the 2018 season with cortisone shots but when he continued to complain of shoulder pain the decision was made to perform a debridement, or cleanup, of the A/C joint, the area where the collarbone meets the top of the shoulder blade. The surgery will be performed by Yankee team physician Christopher Ahmad.
“The downtime is three months,’’ Cashman said. “And even though it comes within the lane of spring training I’ll say he’ll be all systems go by opening day at the latest.’’
After hitting 33 home runs in 2017, his first full season in the majors, Sanchez struggled in 2018, hitting 18 home runs and batting just .186. He also spent two stints on the disabled list with a lingering groin injury. Cashman said the shoulder problem might have been a contributing factor in Sanchez’s struggles at the plate last year.
“It bothered him from time to time and when it did he would complain about it, so yeah, it may well have been something that affected him performance-wise,’’ Cashman said. “He had MRIs that didn’t show anything overtly and so we thought we’d have no problem over the winter with rest. But it was still lingering in there so we decided just to get proactive and get ahead of it. Now’s the time to take care of it, I guess.’’
Cashman said the Yankees had no immediate plans to acquire a catcher as insurance if Sanchez’ recovery takes longer than expected.
“We’ve got (Austin) Romine and (Kyle) Higashioka,’’ he said. “Obviously we had to deal with that twice last season for a month at time. We should be OK.’’