By Adam Westendorf
We have all heard about how the Yankees are struggling. We have all heard about Giancarlo Stanton’s struggles, but what about Gary Sanchez? Gary has two hits in 36 total at bats. Now being hampered by a calf injury suffered in the 14 inning loss to the Orioles doesn’t help the cause. Now the question is, should we be worried?
Gary Sanchez last year didn’t start off ripping the cover off the ball. In a very small sample size before he was sidelined for a month with a bicep injury he only had three total hits 21 at bats. This season has gone basically the same for Gary. Limited number of at bats in very cold weather and an injury. The Yankees have played 12 games, 12 total games. It is way to early for fans to be worried about the best offensive catcher in baseball.
Watching Sanchez’s at bats this year, it doesn’t look like he is lost at the plate. He has an average exit velocity 89.22 MPH over his 36 at bats. He is squaring the ball up and hitting it hard, just right at people. As of right now Sanchez holds a .034 batting average of balls in play (BABIP) that is extremely unlucky, and that will not continue over the course of a full season. One thing that I have noticed is that he is now pressing at the plate and not taking pitches. Sanchez doesn’t have a walk this year.
Looking at his career, as the weather warms up, Sanchez warms up. Now I’m not going to use that as an excuse for him or a reason that he is going to break out of this slump, but it is very interesting to look at. In the month of May last year after Sanchez came off the DL he played in 21 games piling up 88 plate appearances. In those games, his total numbers were: .293/.398/.440 with three home runs and two doubles. In June the numbers only got better. He slashed .307/.390/.659 with with nine home runs and four doubles in 100 plate appearances. July of last year he slumped a bit only slashing .231/.273/.396 but the power numbers were still there with six doubles and three home runs.
Gary Sanchez owns the month of August. We all know what he did when he was first called up to the big leagues in 2016. He didn’t skip a beat last year in the month of August slashing .287/.347/.648 with an insane 12 home runs and three doubles.
So the question I asked was, should we worry about Gary Sanchez? My answer is no. I know over all of the off season the Yankees were built up to be a power house who were going to score 10 runs a game, and it hasn’t showed so far yet this year. Let’s all just relax take a step back and remember that we have only played 12 games. Gary Sanchez is not on the hot seat to lose his starting job to Austin Romine. Just relax and remember that Gary Sanchez is a star and will come around and starting mashing the baseball.
Sanchez certainly showed signs of life last night by hammering two home runs and smoking a double against the Red Sox. Sanchez breaking out of his slump will help the Yankees offense exponentially moving forward.