For the umpteenth time, Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, asserts that Gary Sanchez is their guy. Okay, I give and he’s my guy too.
Gary Sanchez, more than any other player on the Yankees, has been the subject of this column. On balance, my stories have been largely negative, but occasionally I’ve been trying to be drawn into the fold with stories like this one, which rationalized that Sanchez is merely another catcher in the long list of Yankees offensive catchers.
In the midst of all that though, the Yankees have remained true to their young and embattled catcher. Most recently, Brian Cashman, answering yet another question from a doubtful reporter, hammered the point home about Gary Sanchez’s place in the Yankee’s organization.
So, let it be. Brian Cashman has earned his pinstripes and who am I/We to argue with his judgment?
The Yankees certainly need his explosive bat in their lineup, whether he is positioned behind the plate or as the designated hitter. This, while no one can argue that Gary Sanchez presents defensive liabilities every time Aaron Boone writes his name in the lineup as the catcher for that game.
Yankees pitchers will need to adjust accordingly, but not so much as to stop that slider down and away, off the plate, a sure swing and miss off the hand of Luis Severino, for instance, and a pitch that needs to be blocked in the dirt by Sanchez.
That scenario will never change, no matter how much faith Cashman and the Yankees have in Gary Sanchez. Improvement in that area will need to continue on the part of Sanchez, or it’s only a matter of time before Boone texts Cashman with a terse message, “Brian, I can’t do this anymore”.
Or worse, a starter or two marches into the office of Aaron Boone with the same message.
So, we are left to believe (and hope) the Yankees are buying into the determination of Gary Sanchez to make himself a better catcher. Not a Johnny Bench or Yadier Molina, just a good and solid major league catcher.
The accolades come easily from the teammates of Gary Sanchez regarding his work ethic:
And that’s from a player who can easily be squeezed out of a job if Sanchez improves on his defense.
So, myself as well, let’s squash all the trade rumors about the Yankees secretly coveting J.T. Realmuto, willing to trade Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and half the farm system to get him.
Gary Sanchez will be the Opening Day catcher when Aaron Boone fills out his lineup card. And for the Yankees to succeed, Sanchez needs to succeed. So, therefore, I’m all in, and even more than Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez is the guy I will root to have the great season we’ve all been waiting for.
And hopefully, this is just a taste of what we’re in for…
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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