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May 21, 2019

It would be an ‘upset’ if Gary Sanchez isn’t behind the plate for Yankees wild-card game

September 27, 2018

It would be an “upset” if Gary Sanchez is not behind the plate for the Yankees’ wild-card game, said Aaron Boone on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN NY radioWednesday afternoon.

The Yankee manager has been adamant that Sanchez would be the catcher for the must-win postseason game barring an injury.

After two passed balls in Monday night’s win, Sanchez has a big-league worst 17 on the season, four more than second worst.

Still, Boone said Monday that he doesn’t want to get too caught up in that.

“It is something that concerns us, it something we’re pouring time into to eliminate as much as we can,” Boone said. “But it’s important not to get lost in this….. When you break down games, he’s doing a lot of really good things behind the plate.”

The Yankees have defended Sanchez by pointing out that they have analysis that says Sanchez is a good pitch framer. Scouts who have been watching the Yankees this season have said the same.

“He steals a few strikes,” one scout said, “He does a good job framing.”

Aaron Boone says the it would be quite an “upset” if Gary Sanchez isn’t behind the plate in the wild-card game Oct. 3. (Julio Cortez / AP)

Also, they think he calls a good game behind the plate.

Finally, the Yankee pitchers have their best combined ERA with Sanchez behind the plate. In 74 games with Sanchez catching, they were pitching to a 3.38 ERA. In 73 games with Romine behind the plate, Yankee pitchers had a 4.10 ERA. Kyle Higashioka had a 3.86 catcher’s ERA in 26 games.

Most importantly, however, is the potential power Sanchez brings to the plate.

Though going through a terrible sophomore slump, Sanchez has flashed his ability to change a game with a single stroke of his bat. He was hitting just .184 heading into Wednesday night’s game with 17 homers and 52 RBI in 86 games.

So Boone is willing to overlook the defense a little more with Sanchez.

And as for the passed balls?

“Let’s not get lost in that,” said Boone.

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