Sunday, October 24 2021
Gary Sanchez after error

Gary Sanchez after error

It’s been a bad week for Gary Sanchez defensively.

On Thursday, although charged as wild pitches to Clay Holmes, Sanchez couldn’t catch two pitches, bringing in the Orioles’ tying run in the bottom of the ninth. They eventually lost, 3-2.

On Sept. 10, Joey Gallo threw a dart that had Mets’ Jonathan Villar out by several feet, but Sanchez inexplicably went for a high tag that Villar got under – Villar was safe.

On Saturday Sanchez dropped a foul pop-up right behind home plate in the fifth inning.

After the pop-up fell to the dirt, the Indians piled it on for seven runs that inning.

“Definitely a play there that I’m used to making, especially this year, thought I’ve been very good at catching those flies. I think this is the first one I’ve missed this year,” Sanchez said through a translator after Saturday’s 11-3 loss to the Indians. “Just bad read there with the fly ball. I think I got under it too much, and when the ball’s coming down, it has backspin, and yeah, I wasn’t in a good position to catch it there. But you gotta put it aside. When the next time it happens, you gotta find yourself in a better position and make that play.”

After an abysmal 2020, Kyle Higashioka took over starting duties in the postseason last year, and for some reason, Sanchez couldn’t understand why.

That could be the case again.

“They’re both gonna play. Higgy’s obviously earned more playing time here over the last couple of years with his outstanding play and obviously what he brings behind the plate. It’ll be a day-to-day situation and try to play the guy that gives us the best chance to win that night,” Aaron Boone said.

“I’m here to play every day, and that’s the way I see it,” Sanchez said when asked about Boone’s comments. “I’m here to help this team, play every day, and decisions like that, I don’t make those decision – they do, and they make the best decision possible. For me, just be ready to play every day.”

At one point, it seemed like Sanchez found his old self on offense – in a 27-game stretch from May 29 to June 30, Sanchez slashed .303/.398/.652. In those times, the Yankees were able to live with his bad defense. But since then (43 games), he’s hitting .163 with a .599 OPS, and looks more lost than ever behind the plate.

Higashioka’s five defensive runs saved this year ranks 12th-best among all catchers (despite playing in just over half the innings Sanchez has behind the dish). Sanchez’s is negative 10, the second-worst among catchers.

Sure, Higashioka’s OPS is over 100 points lower than Sanchez’s this year (he also trails in batting average, .206 to .173). But if offensive production is lacking in that position no matter what, it won’t be surprising to see Boone and the Yankees, once again, go with the asset defensively, and sit Sanchez down the stretch.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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