When the Yankees dealt catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Gio Urshela to the Minnesota Twins when the lockout was lifted, fans wished the pair well, hoping that a chance of scenery would be enough to reignite their former Baby Bomber’s power production from behind the plate (or the DH spot).
Unfortunately, as the Twins’ fortunes have shifted midway through April, Sánchez’s playing time has grown stagnant.
Though his offensive production has been roughly league-average — a familiar refrain for Yankee fans, at this point — with a 97 OPS+, he has just a single home run and eight RBI despite a five-RBI game in his second appearance of the season against Seattle.
More importantly, he hasn’t played since an 0-for-4 showing on April 20 at Kansas City, battling an abdomen issue that has kept him between the IL and the active roster.
Some would say … the Twins should simply … put him on the shelf for 15 days, considering it’s already been nine since he’s picked up a bat.
Others would say that Sánchez being stuck nebulously between the lineup and trainer’s room, all the while trying to get back and produce unimpressive offense, is the best explanation for his career as a whole.
Yankees’ Gary Sánchez struggling to stay healthy, productive in new home.
Friday represented Sánchez’s long-awaited (by some) return to the lineup against a team he knows quite well, the Rays (though he likely wishes he didn’t).
In the “regrets” department, things are going much smoother for Urshela, who has racked up 0.7 WAR and is hitting .321 with a 136 OPS+ in 17 games thus far (out of 19 total contests for the Twins). Would he be performing the same way in the Bronx? That’s for you to agonize over. Regardless, the reset button only appears to have worked for one of the two players the Bombers just jettisoned.
So far, so decent in the Bronx, too. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been as effective as theorized in a best-case scenario since his early struggles, and Josh Donaldson has been rock solid with the glove and has drilled a few impactful homers, even if he isn’t running on all cylinders like Urshela.
It seems fair to say there’ll be a see-saw for those two, at some point. It’s much harder to determine whether Sánchez will ever again reach his considerable ceiling for longer than a few at-bats at a time.