Is Kyle Higashioka making an unexpected position change with Yankees after demotion?

With prospect Austin Wells taking over as starting catcher, is Kyle Higashioka switching positions?

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The New York Yankees gave it one more go with their team to start the year after the trade deadline. But as the playoffs fell further and further away in front of them, the Yankees decided to give some of their top prospects a look before the season ended. Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells, Everson Pereira, and Oswaldo Peraza are now part of the team's everyday lineup, as the team evaluates if they could be answers for not only the 2024 season but also beyond that.

Wells is now the starting catcher from here on out, supplanting Kyle Higashioka on the depth chart. With Higashioka now being relegated to the bench, what is he to do?

On Sunday night, before the Yankees' series finale against the Houston Astros, Higashioka was spotted fielding ground balls at third base. Is a position change in the works for the veteran catcher?

Yankees: Is Kyle Higashioka switching positions after Austin Wells promotion?

There was no word as to why Higashioka was fielding grounders at third base. It could be an instance of the team seeing how he does at third for a potential emergency situation.

What is known is that Wells will be playing most of the time for the remainder of the season. As for Ben Rortvedt, the other catcher on the depth chart, manager Aaron Boone revealed that he is likely to be the catcher for Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers, with ace Gerrit Cole taking the mound.

Wells made his debut with the Yankees this past Friday against the Astros, alongside Dominguez. In the batter's box, Wells has gone 2-for-10 with one double, two RBI, four strikeouts, and one walk. As for behind the plate, the rookie recorded 17 putouts, two assists, and zero errors on 19 total chances. Additionally, Wells threw out one player trying to steal base.

This season, Higashioka recorded a .225 batting average, a .265 on-base percentage, a .404 slugging percentage, 10 home runs, 22 runs, 33 RBI, 49 hits, 66 strikeouts, and 13 walks in 218 at-bats. At catcher, Higashioka recorded 619 putouts, 11 assists, and nine errors in 639 total chances. Higashioka also caught nine baserunners stealing, while allowing five passed balls.

It will be the rookies getting the most playing time alongside Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton for the rest of the way, and that includes Wells.

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