Yankees Gary Sanchez: Keep on trying to put a square peg in a round hole

Anthony Seigler, Yankees top catching prospect (Photo: nj.com)
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While the Yankees continue to apply a “Tinkerbell” massage to Gary Sanchez, prospect Anthony Seigler deserves more attention

The Yankees, like many of us, are mesmerized when Gary Sanchez barrels up on one with a  471 ft. Blast deep into the black at Yankee Stadium.

The innate power, the ultimate display of a man’s ability to attack and overcome a well-thrown pitch – despite a juiced-up baseball – is still a feat to behold in baseball today.

But in major league baseball, the numbers – good or bad – reveal all there is to know about any of the 11,000 or so players who have stepped on a major league field.

So, let’s go there to take a brief look at what Gary Sanchez has accomplished in the 372 games he has played for the Yankees over the past five years.

Gary Sanchez: A one dimension ballplayer

Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees Photo courtesy of Sportress of Blogitude

Do we all agree that Gary Sanchez is a one dimension ballplayer? Take power away from his game – and what’s left?

He can’t run (four career stolen bases), and he’s a below-average catcher in the field.

Even the things he is praised for like that “gun” he’s supposed to have for an arm turns into a dud on the field (last year, base runners were successful three out four times on steals against Sanchez).

If you remove the Baltimore Orioles from Sanchez’s 2019 season, his batting average dips to .211, and his power numbers are reduced to a very pedestrian 24 home runs and 55 RBI against the rest of the league. (Splits Baseball-Reference)

But let me be clear. It’s not Gary Sanchez who annoys me – it’s the Yankees.

It’s one thing to support and encourage your players. But it’s quite another thing the Yankees have done and continue to do with Gary Sanchez.

Gary Sanchez and Joe Girardi - like oil and water (Photo: SNY-TV)
Gary Sanchez and Joe Girardi – like oil and water (Photo: SNY-TV)

I’ll always believe that Joe Girardi stamped his ticket out of town when he had the “gall” to call out Sanchez for not hustling on pitches off the plate and in the dirt.

“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” But it was so, and everyone from the Yankees brass knew it. Sanchez needed a wake-up call, and Girardi gave it to him – in full view of the YES-TV cameras.

So now, the Yankees have seen fit to hire what amounts to a personal coach for Gary Sanchez. Tanner Swanson, the catcher’s guru who gained a reputation with the Minnesota Twins as an expert, will make Gary Sanchez all he can be.

Anyway, that’s the idea.

Time is running out on the Great Experiment

But in case the Yankees haven’t noticed, Gary Sanchez will be 27 in a few days on December 2. He is entering his first of three arbitration years, and the Yankees will be anteing up each season.

Sanchez will then be 31 when he reaches his free-agency in 2023. He’s a catcher who is already building up time on the Injured List for this or that ailment.

Kyle Higashioka - Yankees back-up catcher (Photo: medium.com)
Kyle Higashioka – Yankees back-up catcher (Photo: medium.com)

Playing a position where bodies tend to break down sooner rather than later, just what is it the Yankees think they are going to get from Sanchez – even three years from now when he’ll be thirty?

Meanwhile, the Yankees seem content with letting Austin Romine, who showed every sign of developing into a major league hitter last year, venture off to another team.

Brian Cashman says not to worry; we have Kyle Higashioka to backup Sanchez. What he doesn’t say is the Yankees, short of releasing him, are stuck with Higashioka because he is out of options and can’t be sent down to the minors.

Attention Yankees: I have a better idea

Rather than continue the charade with Sanchez, I have a better idea. Instead of wasting Tanner Swanson’s time trying to put a square peg in a round hole with Sanchez, how about sending him to work with Anthony Seigler, who MLB Pipeline ranks the Yankees No. 6 prospect?

Seigler is already deemed to be on a fast track and is due for promotion from Charleston (South Atlantic League), where he played last season.

Teaming Swanson with Julio Mosquera, the manager at Charleston gives Seigler a double dose of tutelage (Mosquera spent 13 seasons as a catcher in the minor leagues). Of Seigler, Mosquera reports:

“It’s just the way he manages the game,” Mosquera said. “He’s got a good feel for it. He’s got a good feel for what the pitcher is trying to do to the hitters. He makes a lot of good decisions behind the plate. He makes adjustments fast. All of this helps him stay in the game. He’s a leader back there for his pitching staff, and for his age, that’s really good.”Brandon Kuty, njadvancedmedia.com

Is there anything not to like?

To no avail, we’ve been down this road before with Gary Sanchez. At the very least, the Yankees should have every reason to be thinking more in terms of the future than it appears.

Taking all that energy devoted to Sanchez and transferring it to Anthony Seigler would be a good start…

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Yankees Gary Sanchez: Keep on trying to put a square peg in a round hole
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Yankees Gary Sanchez: Keep on trying to put a square peg in a round hole
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While the Yankees continue to apply a "Tinkerbell" massage to Gary Sanchez, prospect Anthony Seigler deserves more attention
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Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.