Kyle Higashioka has spot-on comments about splitting time with Gary Sanchez
Expect to see a variety of Kyle Higashioka and Gary Sanchez for the Yankees in the playoffs.
Manager Aaron Boone already confirmed that it’s likely Kyle Higashioka will be the New York Yankees’ starting catcher for Gerrit Cole in Game 1 of the Wild Card series, which has angered Gary Sanchez supporters.
Sorry guys, but this is the postseason and every at-bat counts. Just because Sanchez has hit a few clutch home runs this year doesn’t mean his overall atrocious play is going to get ignored. He’s still slashing .142/.240/.372 with 61 strikeouts in 148 at-bats. He’s hitting .200 since the start of 2018. Regardless of the home run count, this is not sustainable offense.
Not only has Higashioka’s defense been better — plus it’s apparent Gerrit Cole wants him as his personal catcher — the 30-year-old is showing some inclination to get the job done offensively. He’s hitting .255/.255/.532 with seven runs scored, four home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games. That’s not great, but it’s also not detrimental to the team.
He and Gary likely understand the reality of it all at this point in terms of splitting time, especially during the playoffs, and Higgy’s comments after Thursday night’s game shed light on that.
Yes, folks, it’s about winning. The Yankees, who are playing very hot and cold in 2020, really cannot afford any more bumps in the road when it comes to individual performance. If Higgy’s playing better, he’ll get the nod. If Sanchez wants to wake up, well, that’s on him. Everyone knows he’ll start if he can get his act together.
At this point, it looks like Higgy will steal more than just the Cole starts in this postseason if the Yankees make it past the Wild Card series. Sanchez got an opportunity to prove himself yet again on Thursday night when Boone called on him to pinch hit for Higgy in the eighth. With the bases loaded, Sanchez nearly went yard to center, but he flied out at the wall.
It’s taken quite a while for Boone to speak publicly in this kind of way about Sanchez despite the groans from the fan base for what feels like two years now, but it’s finally come to a head with the playoffs around the corner, Sanchez still playing poorly, and the Yankees facing a lot of pressure given that they’re pretty much fully healthy at the moment.
Higgy summed it up perfectly — it’s about winning. The Yankees have no choice but to go with whomever is performing best at their respective positions, regardless of name recognition or history with the team.