Yankee Manager Aaron Boone has stated that he is going to start catcher Gary Sanchez when the playoffs start. Sanchez has not been one of the most productive Yankees this year, due in part to missing almost two months to a pair of stints on the disabled list, and also based on his performance both at the plate and behind it. While a number of fans, and even a fair portion of analysts, thought the rookie manager might opt for backup Austin Romine, Boone thinks Sanchez will produce, as reported by NJ Advance Media.
According to Baseball Reference, Sanchez is possibly one of the worst offensive starting catchers this year, and definitely the worst defensively, by any metrics that are being used. Offensively, he is carrying a slash line of a .184 BA, with 16 home runs and 47 RBI in 299 at-bats. The homers are solid for the number of AB’s he has, but the rest of his numbers are below average, particularly the batting average.
Defensively, he leads the majors in errors and passed balls, and has had multiple games this year where his inability to effectively communicate with pitchers on the mound has led to not only errors, but also a couple of high-profile arguments in the dugout, as reported by the Inquisitr. Still, Boone thinks that Sanchez gives the Yankees the best chance to win. It is something that even Joel Sherman voiced surprise over, saying he doesn’t even think Sanchez looks like an MLB level player anymore, per the MLB website.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) September 24, 2018
As reported by NJ Advance Media, despite all the critics, Boone continues to defend Sanchez, and says he thinks his hard work will pay off.
“I think he’s just a natural hitter that I think it’s hard to hold those guys down for such a long period of time. So that’s what I’m going on… So Gary’s always working on his craft, he’s always working hard on his hitter. He’s done a pretty good job of controlling the strike zone. If he continues to do that, I feel like results will follow and hopefully we will see a stretch in him at some point.”
Gary Sanchez would be an awesome defensive catcher if he could just catch the baseball.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 18, 2018
Not all fans on Twitter have been in agreement with Boone, and still not all of the beat writers following the Yankees all year are seeing what Boone is talking about, especially regarding defensive skills. Sanchez has been getting raked over the coals, as has Boone for claiming he has worked hard and improved so much. If Sanchez comes up big in October, he and Boone will look great in the press. If not, Yankee fans will be expecting heads to roll.
A day after Cashman doubled and tripled down on Gary Sanchez and a few hours after Boone said he was his wild card catcher, Sanchez has a passed ball and an error in the same inning.
— Laura Albanese (@AlbaneseLaura) September 22, 2018