In his first two games of the season, New York Yankees‘ catcher Gary Sanchez slugged two home runs and appeared to have a fixed swing after three dismal seasons. However, things have gone downhill for him ever since then, leading the team to a point where they should officially be concerned about him.
Since his first two games of the season, Sanchez is hitting .157 with a .483 OPS and just one extra-base hit. The Yankees are also 5-12 in games that he’s played in since April 2.
Those are very concerning numbers as they draw comparisons to 2020 where he had a .147 average with a .618 OPS. What’s also concerning for Sanchez is the fact that the Yankees are 7-2 when Kyle Higashioka starts. Additionally, pitchers have a 1.80 ERA with Higashioka catching and a 3.91 ERA when Sanchez is catching, something that may not be a coincidence.
Ever since Joe Girardi was fired by the New York Yankees, Sanchez hasn’t been the same. His average since the beginning of 2018 is just .199 with a .741 OPS. One of the main reasons why Girardi was fired had to do with his relationship between him and the catcher before Sanchez’s struggles began. But now, looking in hindsight, it may not also be just a coincidence that Sanchez has struggled since Girardi’s departure.
After more than three seasons of struggles for Gary Sanchez, it may be time for the Yankees to move on from him. With young players hitting the free-agent market for the first time in the near future, the team is in their prime time to win a World Series. Sanchez is continuing to be a detriment to the team, and the Yankees could pursue a trade this season and could consider sticking with Higashioka as the starter for now.
Plus, the Yankees have catching prospects Austin Wells, Josh Breaux, and Anthony Siegler in the system, and all are likely to make it to the majors someday. The three of them are each a few years away from being MLB ready, however, the Yankees need someone to step up now. New York could be forced to go the trade route to find a catcher, or they may have to bench Sanchez permanently.
Another cold start for Gary Sanchez is showing that his poor play isn’t a fluke — it’s truly who he is. It’s time the Yankees consider moving on from him and start the search for their future catcher.