New York Yankees: Cole and Boone praise Sanchez, who is in the middle of a terrible slump

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are off to a blistering start to the abbreviated 2020 season. They have the best record in the league ahead of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies, and several stars are streaking at the plate, especially Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela.

Gary Sanchez, the Yankees’ starting catcher, is streaking, but in a negative way. He has only two hits in the season as a whole, and he has only two hits and one walk in 27 plate appearances. That adds up to a putrid .080/.148/.120 line and a negative wRC+ of -22.

Pitch recognition and a lack of contact are severe issues with the New York Yankees’ franchise catcher right now. He is currently running a 51.9 K% and 3.7 BB%, which is terrible. He’s looking especially vulnerable to low and away breaking stuff, more than ever before.

Will the Yankees enjoy vintage Sanchez this year?

But Sanchez is a career .243/.325/.511 line with a 120 wRC+. He’ll get back on track eventually. For now, he’s trying to find his timing at the plate and continues to improve behind the plate, at least according to Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole.

“I think it’s going great,” Cole said to about his relationship with Sanchez. “He’s always finding me in between the innings, communicating about what pitches he liked. He picked up on a couple tips in the batter’s box [on Monday], which I thought was really helpful. He’s been on his game behind the dish, especially pitch-calling and picking up some tips here and there.”

The past couple of games suggest that Sanchez may be improving a little bit at the plate, a thesis supported by manager Aaron Boone.

“He had a couple of the games in the Boston series where I thought he was better,” Boone said. “He’s kind of chasing that hit a little bit. He’s just got to continue to trust that he can control the zone and really stay in his legs. When he does, that will take off.”

“It’s not easy to not take the offense out on the field,” Cole said. “As players, we all kind of understand that. It’s easy to rally around a guy that is really taking pride in his defense, even though he may be a little bit frustrated with how it’s going in the batter’s box.”

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