The New York Yankees Are Playing A Risky Game At The Catcher Position

The New York Yankees seem to be testing their luck at the catcher position, instilling faith in the struggling Gary Sanchez and sticking with Austin Romine as the backup. Sanchez had a very rough 2018, finishing the season with a .186 batting average and allowed 18 passed balls behind the plate (74 games).

The previously rising star was hitting with power and efficiency in 2016-17 but fell off after having shoulder surgery and sustaining two right-groin injuries that sidelined him last season.

The New York Yankees don’t have much backup:

Romine will likely act as the No.2 option behind Sanchez, and if the starter fails to regain his form, we could see Romine receive more work. The backup earned a .244 BA on 242 at-bats in 2018, the highest of his seven-year career. Realistically, he’s a perennial second-tier option, and the Yanks are running a massive risk with Sanchez behind the plate, but it’s a calculated one and a faith-based move from general manager Brian Cashman.



Why sticking with “The Kraken” is a good move:

Sanchez has a career BA of .252, which was damaged badly by last seasons performance. If I had to hedge my luck, I would bet on the young catcher returning to form. Why? Because the two years leading up to his 2018 goose-egg he averaged a .288 BA.

He’s a more than capable hitter that did knock 18 balls out of the park last season, which was a little more than half of what he recorded in 2017. Injuries seem to be the primary culprit here, and if he has recovered fully there should be no limits to his potential for the season ahead.

The fact of the matter is that a healthy Sanchez could be the key to an even more deadly Yankees lineup. Having their five-spot man player will only increase the team’s runs-per-game totals and the probability of enjoying an all-to-familiar victory.

EXTRA:

“Thank you 2018 for giving me adversity,” Sanchez said on Instagram earlier this month. “Thank you because that adversity has only fueled my fire to have a healthy, focused and improved 2019.”

“I would like to think that he was very much back on track at the end of the season,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I think this year is going to be a huge year of growth for him. Going through some of the challenges and adversity that he went through, I think, is going to make him a better player.”