On Tuesday the Yankees placed Gary Sanchez back on the 10-day DL with a right groin strain just three games after he returned from the same injury.
An MRI showed that Sanchez reaggravated the injury in the same spot and yet many still believed that this was the Yankees way of punishing him for his lack of hustle the night before. However, today GM Brian Cashman announced Sanchez would be out until late August or early September.
Clearly, Sanchez was in fact hurt and maybe the injury was never fully healed in the first place. That’s still no excuse for not hustling and to his credit, he took ownership for this again on Tuesday and wouldn’t use the injury as an excuse.
He knows his performance on Monday was unacceptable and directly contributed to the Yankees 7-6 loss. The scrutiny he received on Tuesday was fair but also extremely harsh and he needs to learn from this experience and make sure a situation like this never happens again. It can’t happen, especially when you play for a franchise like the Yankees under the microscope of the New York media.
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The news today has many fans happy to see Sanchez back on the DL which is hard to understand despite his lackluster showing on Monday. They must have forgotten about all the great things he’s done since his rookie year back in 2016. It’s their right to give up on him and talk about trading or benching him, but I advise them to be careful what they wish for.
Yes, it’s been a nightmare of a season or Sanchez up to this point, but let’s not forget he’s only 25 years old and before this season he was arguably the best offensive catcher the game has seen since Mike Piazza. Look at the numbers, and you’ll see that’s not an over exaggeration.
He’s hitting .188 and slugging .699, but make no mistake about it, the Yankees are a better team with him in the lineup. They’re lucky to have a backup as good as Austin Romine who is a better all-around defender than Sanchez and hits .324 with RISP. He won’t control the running game as well as Sanchez does but and he and Kyle Higashioka should continue to do a good job in his absence.
However, if the Yankees are going to reach their goal of winning a championship they need Sanchez in the middle of their lineup doing what he does best.
Sanchez still has some growing up to do and as Aaron Boone said following the news, the hope is that this time off will benefit him in the long run. Here’s Boone per the New York Post:
"“I think he really cares about what he’s doing. I think it’s a chance for him to take inventory of all this, learn from all this and hopefully grow from all this as a player, as a person, and that’s upon all of us to come alongside and help him grow up to hopefully become the finished product as a player that we believe that he can be.”"