Yankees: Gary Sanchez can still be a massive threat in the Bronx
The Yankees have gone 16 – 7 since the massacre at Fenway and even though a lineup featuring bench players like Shane Robinson and Ronald Torreyes have kept them afloat, they could be playing even better than they are right now. Thankfully this can happen again soon because, as reported earlier in the week, the sun will shine again and Gary Sanchez will return to the Bronx.
With that said, it’s time all of us admit something. Things just haven’t felt right since the Sanchize went down.
Sure he may or may not have run out a double play ball once. Sure his batting average wasn’t stellar and sure passed balls were a regular occurrence for him. Despite all that, Gary Sanchez should not be defined by his weakest moments.
The reality is the Yankees are a bigger threat with Sanchez than without him. 2018 may have featured the worst of Sanchez but worse than him not being able to work his way around a strike zone at times has been watching Kyle Higashioka’s lack of production. Worse than that has been watching Austin Romine’s inability to throw runners out be exploited for an entire month.
Higgy is probably a great guy and Romine can win all the Heart and Hustle awards he wants. I don’t see how the Yankees get far with those guys catching.
I know that the cool thing to do is cite WAR on Baseball Reference – something I myself love doing when making completely biased points in favor of the Yankees – but when you look at Sanchez’s .5 WAR this year, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Analytics are here to stay but that low WAR doesn’t account for his clutch moments this season.
Remember his walk-off against the Twins? The Yankees were dead in the water that game. Fernando Rodney came in to close the door with Minnesota up 3-1. A Yankee caveat this season has been driving guys home and on that special ninth inning, Gary drove Didi and Giancarlo Stanton home with a bomb to left field.
How about another game it looked like the Yankees were dead in the water? The Astros looked to get another win on the Yankees and Sanchez took Ken Giles about as deep as you can go in Houston. That lead to another Yankee win.
How about that game against Seattle? The Yankees were down and who was it but Gary Sanchez who tied that game. Stanton gets all the credit for his walk-off but that never would’ve happened if it wasn’t for Sanchez.
Think about this. Aaron Judge is probably the holiest figure to grace the streets of New York since the pope and George Steinbrenner. Even though he has had an incredible 2018, other than sending one of Craig Kimbrel’s greasy fastballs into Monument Park, it’s hard to remember another of Judge’s late-inning heroics. Sanchez has three. Who knows how many he would’ve had if he stayed healthy.
More from Yanks Go Yard
- Yankees analyst Cameron Maybin projects surprise landing spot for Gary Sánchez
- Yankees swipe intriguing minor-league FA lefty flamethrower from Braves
- What does Carlos Rodón’s new jersey number mean for Domingo Germán?
- 3 lefty relievers Yankees can still sign without breaking the bank
- Red Sox living in different financial ‘galaxy’ than Yankees Killer Rafael Devers
The Red Sox like to call themselves the greatest team ever and on paper they certainly are. If Sanchez can go on one of those classic tears in combination with Stanton and Judge sending balls into the stratosphere, a 6.5 game lead by the Sox can turn to 2 by mid-September. By the last 4 games that 2 game lead can dwindle to .5.
After those fateful final 4 games at Fenway, well, a few drubbings by an actual Yankees lineup – one where Sanchez, Judge, and Stanton show why they’re Murderers’ Row 2.0 – a new generation of Red Sox fans can party like it’s 1978.
Baseball is one of those wild sports where guys can be deemed public enemy number 1 and GOAT in the same season. My personal hope is that this is what happens to Gary Sanchez.
He’s a special player. It was hard to see that back in July when his baserunning folly cost the Yankees a game but make no mistake, he’s as much of a heartbeat to this team as Aaron Judge is. Some guy in Queens holds the record for most home runs as a catcher and as cool as that is, it’d be that much sweeter if our guy brought that record home to the Bronx.
Something even sweeter would be filling out all of Mr. Brian Cashman’s fingers with rings. Give the guy so many rings he’ll have to get a few on his toes to fit them on his body.