This story was excerpted from Bryan Hoch’s Yankees Beat newsletter. To checked out the complete newsletter, click on this link. And subscribe to get it routinely in your inbox.
Yes, Ben Rortvedt is genuine — and there is now undeniable video proof to show it, silencing any sticking around skeptics within the Yankees’ universe.
A dispute over Rortvedt’s presence had actually ended up being a light-hearted trope on social networks over the previous season-plus, as the 25-year-old catcher fought many injuries that stalled his club launching. Not just was Rortvedt conscious, however he was in on the gag.
“I know it’s a joke, and it’s pretty funny, but I’m just excited to be here and to play ball,” Rortvedt stated.
Called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with beginning catcher Jose Trevino handling a left hamstring stress, Rortvedt lastly entered the Yanks’ lineup this previous weekend in Cincinnati, going 2-for-4 with a double in New York’s 7-4, 10-inning success on Saturday afternoon.
“It was awesome, just looking around the dugout to see who we’re surrounded with,” Rortvedt stated. “We’re never out of a game. There’s a bunch of big names. I’m just doing my best to pull my own weight and keep us in the game.”
Originally prepared by the Twins in the 2nd round of the 2016 MLB Draft, Rortvedt is a square-jawed, muscular backstop whose defense-first state of mind and no-nonsense attitude have actually triggered contrasts to a young Joe Girardi.
In truth, throughout his time with the Twins, Rortvedt’s bulk created its reasonable share of attention: a remarkable photo taken by Minnesota group professional photographer Brace Hemmelgarn revealed Nelson Cruz checking Rortvedt’s biceps while managing a kettlebell in the club’s weight space.
“It’s not like he’s doing some ungodly quantity of weights,” Twins reducer Tyler Duffey stated then. “He was just touched by God and is gifted in what he’s got. Just making sure to take care of it.”
Rortvedt belonged to the March 2022 trade with the Twins that provided 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to New York, in exchange for catcher Gary Sánchez and 3rd baseman Gio Urshela.
But Rortvedt had a pre-existing oblique stress that kept him sidelined through camp, then sustained a partial meniscus tear in his left knee after playing simply 2 Minor League video games. He was called to the major league team in early September, however did not appear in a video game; thus, the dispute over whether Rortvedt was “real.”
This year, his spring was closed down when he observed that the forefinger of his left hand appeared to be constantly turning blue. That triggered the discovery of an aneurysm in the posterior artery near his tossing shoulder — a stunning medical diagnosis, thinking about that if it had actually gone unaddressed, amputation may have been required.
“It’s definitely a lot better than before surgery,” Rortvedt stated. “To be completely honest, my finger [issue] is still kind of lingering, but I’m glad I got the surgery. It’s a big improvement from where it was before. I’m pretty used to it; it’s kind of back to the point where it’s just stinging as a catcher’s [finger] should.”