Catcher Robinson Chirinos has been diagnosed with a fractured right wrist, the Yankees announced. “Wrist and hand specialists will be consulted in the coming days to determine best next steps,” according to the team’s official statement. Chirinos suffered the injury after being hit by a pitch during yesterday’s game with the Pirates.
Chirinos was in camp on a minor league deal, signed to provide some catching depth and perhaps give Kyle Higashioka some competition for the backup catching job. Since Chirinos has been roughly a league-average hitter over his nine MLB seasons, this track record made him perhaps a touch overqualified for the “Spring Training depth catcher” role, which could have been indicative of how the Yankees were approaching the catching position given Gary Sanchez’s struggles in 2020. However, Chirinos’ chances of making the Opening Day roster are now over, and he could possibly face a lengthy layoff depending on the severity of his fracture.
Bothered by an ankle injury for much of 2020, Chirinos struggled through an ugly season that saw him hit only .162/.232/.243 over 82 combined plate appearances with the Rangers and Mets. It was a big step back for a catcher who had been a productive bat for much of his career, hitting .234/.329/.439 with 85 homers over 2043 PA with the Rays, Rangers, and Astros from 2011-19.