New York Yankees News: Brian Cashman speaks out on Gary Sanchez and others (videos)

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) works out as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are coming off a disappointing season and postseason. They lost the division and the postseason to the same team, the Tampa Bay Rays.  Since there exit from the postseason, there has been much bantering and reporting on what went wrong and how to fix it before the  2021 coming season.

Today via Zoom, New York General Manager Brian Cashman addressed several subjects. Among one of the most intriguing subjects was if Gary Sanchez would be the team’s everyday catcher. Cashman would not commit to an answer but offered that it was a very fair question.

Cashman indicated while he tiptoed around the question, saying that Gary Sanchez is a very talented player. He couldn’t decide whether his poor play resulted from the coronavirus or for some other reason.  He pointed out that Kyle Higashioka stepped in at the end of the season and was able to do what he did. Higashioka caught New York Yankee ace Gerrit Cole and others very well. He had fewer passed balls and fewer errors than Sanchez, based on a regular season. He was also a more timely hitter, striking out fewer times and had a batting average of nearly .100 higher than Sanchez.

Gary Sanchez started with a bang in 2016. He hit 20 home runs slashing .299/.376/.557 in 229 plate appearances, but his offense and defense have been inconsistent since then. In 2019 he had a career-high 34 home runs but only garnered a .232 batting average. In 2018 his batting average was just .186, and this year a worse .147. Also, this year his defense at backstop reverted back to passed balls and errors.

The Yankees have long supported Sanchez as the Yankee catcher of the future. With his horrible performance this season, that support seems to be waning. Late in the season, Manager Aaron Boone benched him not only in Gerrit Cole’s starts but in a few others as well. When the postseason came about, the Yankees went with Kyle Higashioka four of the seven games. With the cracks in support, it’s a fair question to ask if Sanchez with be the catcher as we advance, or if they will go with Kyle Higashioka, or maybe look to acquiring a catcher like J.T. Realmuto.

In the Zoom interview, Cashman touched on many other subjects as well, including the questionable play of Gleyber Torres at short.

Cashman also commented on Luke Voit’s foot issues saying that Luke Voit has plantar fasciitis. He will be in a walking boot for one week. They believe that will resolve the issue. Along with Luke Voit, he spoke about Gio Urshela’s right elbow bone spur and Luis Severino’s recovery from Tommy John surgery.