The Yankees need Gary Sanchez to stop being the most incompetent version of himself.
Gary Sanchez has had the worst year the Yankees could’ve envisioned — even for someone who’s been a near-.200 hitter since the start of 2018 (you could look it up!).
When the Yankees were sprinting out to an 8-1 start, it was perplexing to watch Sanchez stare at fastballs and swing over his favorite two-strike breakers like clockwork. It was annoying to see him in his revamped “knee on the ground” catching stance, still managing to kick low fastballs to the second row, and thanking his own personal lucky stars when Zack Britton hit the IL.
Everything about Sanchez’s tailspin was humorless, but it was at least the one bitter pill in an otherwise hot start. He hit a few homers against Boston. The Yanks were 16-6. Everything wasn’t great, but mocking Gary was a lifestyle, not a hole in the sinking ship’s hull.
Well … yeah. The Yankees have wilted to the Mets in the same way they’ve recently allowed the Braves and Rays to stomp all over their supposedly-still-alive postseason chances, and Sanchez has taken the brunt of the anger, unable to carry a patchwork offense, or even look better than Erik Kratz. In case you weren’t aware, a statistic on Sunday’s broadcast really summed it up — Sanchez isn’t even hitting meatballs down the middle anymore. Like, even once.
Yes, it really is as bad as we all suspected. You know when a hitter fouls off a pitch down the middle, he screams at himself and the announcers cringe? Those foul balls have been the highlight of Gary Sanchez’s year.
As fans ponder whether the Baby Bombers generation is closer to the beginning or the end of their era of “dominance,” think about how quickly the Red Sox went from 2018 champions to teardown.
No, the Yankees do not need to go full rebuild. But Sanchez is supposed to be a centerpiece. Instead, he’s a bystander — even when the pitch is right there.