September 27, 2022

Isiah Kiner-Falefa finally collects first hit as a Yankee

Isiah Kiner-Falefa finally got it.  The shortstop went into Sunday night’s series finale against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium 0-for-8 with an error in the first two games. In the Bombers’ half of the inning, Kiner-Falefa led off the fourth with a double.

Aaron Boone, however, wasn’t worried about that snowballing on the 27-year-old the Yankees acquired from the Twins last month.

“I feel like offensively he’s hit some balls really hard and just hasn’t got anything to show for it yet. Obviously made the error on the throw on the run,” the Yankees manager said before Sunday night’s game. “I like where he’s at from a mindset. He’s aggressive. He’s attacking on both sides of the ball. Now we just got to dot that hit column, but that’s going to come especially with his bat-to-ball skills, and like I said, I feel like he hit a couple balls right on the nose last night, so he’ll be fine.”

Kiner-Falefa is a career-.265/.316/.354 hitter with 16 home runs over four years in the big leagues. He came up to the majors as a catcher and was a Gold Glove third baseman, but said shortstop was the position he is most comfortable with.

Kiner-Falefa bobbled a ground ball on the eighth, but Gleyber Torres’ quick turn—and a slow Red Sox video replay room—got the double-play.

PINSTRIPE DEBUT

Jose Trevino made his Yankee debut Sunday night, catching left-hander Jordan Montgomery on the nationally televised game. The catcher was acquired from the Rangers the last week of spring training when it was clear that Ben Rortvedt, the catcher the Yankees got in the trade with the Twins with Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson, was not going to be ready for the season.

Trevino singled in the fourth and scored a run.

“I like Jose behind the plate. We talked about how good (Kyle Higashioka) is back there and rightfully so. But Jose’s tremendous back there too,” Boone said. “And it’s exactly what you said Higgy’s not going to go every day. Feel like Jose’s got a chance to work a little bit with Monty already. He caught his last live session and felt like they connected pretty well. So excited for him to get his first start with us. And, and getting the mix.”

The 29-year old Trevino is a .245/.270/.364 career hitter over parts of four years in the big leagues. Last year, he started a career-high 89 games for the Rangers, hitting .239 with five homers and 30 RBI.

Rortvedt had a strained right oblique when the Yankees made the deal. He was still feeling the strain, so the Yankees sent him for an MRI this week. Boone said he’s been cleared to start ramping up.

ON THE THIRD DAY DJ RESTS

With their unique roster, Boone will be rotating guys for a day off. On Sunday, it was DJ LeMahieu who was on the bench.

“I am trying to get out in front and look at matchups when kind of makes the most sense. I think most of our guys, if not all, will probably have at least one day here in the first 10 (games),” Boone said. “So just trying to be a little strategic with how we do it. I’m sure there’ll be a wrinkle in here that alters how we want to do it. But like I said the other day, it’s probably this is the most I’ve done where I’m kind of, at least, penciling out several days ahead as much as I can.”

LeMahieu ended up pinch hitting in the eighth, flying out to right field.