Through five games this season the New York Yankees are 4-1, but their star catcher, Gary Sanchez, has yet to do anything productive.
Through five games and 15 at-bats, Sanchez holds a .000 batting average, hasn’t taken a walk, and has gotten hit by a pitch once, meaning he has reached base only one time through five games.
Sanchez is, however, one of the better defensive catchers in baseball as he has been known to throw anyone out who dares to try and steal on him. Not only that, but in 2020 he has a new form where he squats with a knee on the ground, but if he can’t get on base, the Yankees are going to have some problems moving forward.
Now you might be saying to yourself “well it’s only five games, give Sanchez some time” and to an extent, you’d be correct, but every game matters much more this season due to the shortened season. One game in 2020 with the 60-game season, is the equivalent to 2.7 games in a typical 162-game season.
That being said, although it’s only been five games, that’s the equivalent to 13.5 games in a typical season. If he held a .000 batting average and had gotten on-base only once, via a hit by pitch, Yankees fans would be calling for his head.
Now this might just be a slump, so Aaron Boone should ride it out a bit and see if he improves, but it’s very important that he doesn’t make a switch before it’s too late.
But if Sanchez doesn’t improve at all, what are the Yankees’ options?
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In 2019, the Yankees were forced to use Kyle Higashioka in 18 games due to injuries with Gary Sanchez and also Austin Romine. In those 18 games that equated for 56 at-bats, Higashioka held a .214 batting average, hit three home runs and had 11 RBIs.
Those numbers certainly aren’t great, but if Sanchez doesn’t improve and start getting some hits, it might be time to see if Higashioka can hold his own.
The Yankees signed Chris Iannetta this past offseason as they lost Austin Romine to the Tigers, and needed someone to fill that void. With that they signed Iannetta, who holds a career batting average of .230, has hit 141 home runs, and 502 RBIs over 14 years in Major League Baseball.
Certainly not the route the Yankees want to go, but if Sanchez doesn’t get his act together, they’re going to have to do something they don’t really want to.