New York Yankees remain committed to catcher Gary Sanchez despite an awful 2020 season. He finished the year with a .147 average over 49 games, logging a career-high 36% strikeout rate. Overall, this was by far his worst season to date, but his last three years have been tumultuous. Despite hitting 34 homers in 2019, he struck out 28% and was a liability behind the plate.
However, this past season he was benched in October for Kyle Higashiosaka, but Sanchez was confused as to why the Yankees didn’t play him.
“Feeling like I couldn’t contribute was very hard,’’ Sanchez said in Spanish during a WFAN interview several months ago. “I always kept supporting my team. But the reality is, they never told me why I was benched. I didn’t know why I wasn’t playing.”
Sanchez was clearly puzzled as to why the Yankees benched him in the first place, but after looking at his statistics, even he should have made a logical assumption. He simply wasn’t playing well enough to be considered a starter, especially in the postseason.
After Sanchez made those interesting comments, general manager Brian Cashman went on to state his opinion on the matter.
Cashman told WFAN Sanchez’s comments in the interview “made you scratch your head. I think the whole world knows why he was benched. … You have to earn your keep.”
This is where Cashman gets a little zesty with his opinion on Sanchez firing back at the Yankees’ decision to bench him late in the season. Ultimately, Cashman has solid ground to stand on, but his aggression could rub Sanchez the wrong way. Hopefully, it will fuel him to be better in 2021, but the GM didn’t hold back one bit with his comment.
“Whether you were told directly [about being benched], I don’t really care,’’ Cashman said. “You’re pretty self-aware at that point. You had a horrible year on both sides of the ball. You lost your job in the most important time of the season, which is October baseball. I’m not sure an explanation is necessary.”
At least the Yankees are holding their players accountable for performing poorly. Sanchez undoubtedly needs a wake-up call, as the team is quickly running out of time and confidence that he can be their long-term solution at the position. If he has another down here, the Yankees will have to supplement yet another spot on the roster.