If you have been following the New York Yankees in the last few years, you probably know that Gary Sanchez is, without a doubt, one of the most heavily criticized players currently on the roster. The 2020 season, of course, did nothing to remedy the situation, as he slumped all the way to a .147/.253/.365 line with a lousy, career-worst 69 wRC+ (100 representing an “average” hitter.)
Being on the receiving end of so much criticism can be damaging to a player’s ego and emotional wellbeing. It’s not always easy to endure, especially considering that Sanchez has given so much to the Yankees ever since he has been a regular, since 2016. He is one of the premier hitting catchers in the league, and is still young at 28. He can turn things around.
Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez, who played the same position as Sanchez in a highly successfil career, recently said that the New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez isnâ€™t in a good place mentally with spring training around the corner.
The Yankees seem to have faith in their catcher
Despite the poor season, Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman has implied that Sanchez will enter spring training as the starting catcher. So far, the team hasn’t made any additions in his position.
But “Pudge,” speaking on a Zoom call Tuesday to promote the upcoming 41st Annual Thurman Munson Awards ceremony, doesn’t think he is quite right mentally.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t enjoy baseball right now,â€ Rodriguez said about the Yankees’ backstop, per WFAN. â€œHe feels like â€¦ he comes to the ballpark and itâ€™s a depressing thing for him right now. Thatâ€™s what I see when heâ€™s playing. … I think he has too much pressure on himself. Heâ€™s trying to do too much. Iâ€™ve talked to him a few times and heâ€™s very positive. But Gary plays in an organization and in a city where obviously, you have to do a good job pretty much every night. … He needs to breathe, he needs to relax himself. He needs to believe that heâ€™s a great player. Now because (the mental) part of his game is not there he feels like everything else he doesnâ€™t have.â€