Will the New York Yankees try to win or protect feelings in the playoffs?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

Last week, I published an article on the New York Yankees’ dilemma at the catchers position. Gary Sanchez has been God awful this year while Kyle Higashioka has thrived in his current role. The Yankees starters have also pitched better with Higashioka behind the plate.

Yesterday, the Yankees wrapped up their 2020 regular season. They finished as the fifth seed in the AL and will be taking on the Cleveland Indians starting tomorrow night. A player who hasn’t seen much time over the last week was Kyle Higashioka.

The Yankees had a lot to play for over the last week. They came extremely close to dropping all the way to the eighth seed in the playoffs. After being red hot, the Yankees played Higashioka in two games while Sanchez played seven.

In those seven games, Sanchez went a whopping 2-20 a plate with seven strikeouts. Sanchez finished the regular season hitting an astonishing .147 for the Yankees. Sanchez became the only player in Major League history to hit at least 10 home runs and fail to hit above .150 for the year.

What the Yankees should do?

The writing is on the wall for what the New York Yankees need to do. Kyle Higashioka is going to likely start tomorrow because Gerrit Cole is on the mound. When Higashioka catches the Yankees‘ ace, his ERA is nearly 3 runs lower than it is with Gary Sanchez behind the plate.

However, Higashioka needs to be behind the plate for game 2 as well and the rest of the playoffs. Gary Sanchez hasn’t earned a damn thing this year, and the Yankees need to be playing for wins here and not protecting their sensitive catcher.

The New York Yankees haven’t been to or won a World Series in a decade. They need to put their best team on the field, and that team does not include Gary Sanchez right now. Not from an offensive perspective and especially a defensive perspective.

The Yankees have said that the catching position will be decided on a day-to-day basis in the playoffs. In reality, it should be much more simple. If you want to keep Gary Sanchez as your starter in 2021, I completely get it, and it makes sense.

However, there is no reason and no argument for Sanchez getting any playing time during the playoffs. Unless Boone has a side bet where he needs one of his guys to strikeout, ground into a double play or have a passed ball/”wild pitch”, Kyle Higashioka needs to be the starter for the Yankees in the playoffs.