Fans of the New York Yankees haven’t had much to complain about over the two seasons. Last year the team undergoing a rebuild went to the ALCS and came within a game of the World Series. This season the Yankees have the best record in baseball. Still, there are Yankees’ fans that aren’t happy and find the need to complain. One major complaint is with Gary Sanchez’s defense.
The talk began last season. At least that was when the voices were loud enough, and numerous enough, to be heard. They complained about Sanchez’s ability to block a ball and how it will cost the Yankees in the long run. It didn’t matter that Sanchez has one of the best times popping up or one of the best arms at the position. It didn’t matter that Sanchez hit 33 home runs, drove in 90 runs, scored 79 runs and hit .278/.345/.531 in 122 games. All certain Yankees’ fans cared about was passed balls.
There is no denying that Sanchez led baseball in passed balls last season with 16. He leads the Majors this season with seven. That is enough for a section of the Yankees’ fanbase to demand he be moved to DH full time or even be tried at first base. Some even want him traded.
All of that is crazy talk. During the broadcast on Tuesday night, David Cone made light of Sanchez’s defense and came to his defense. Cone stated that Sanchez’s other defensive abilities and his offense more than made up for the passed balls. Cone said Sanchez could be his catcher all week and that he would love to throw to him. Cone is absolutely right here. Sadly it made the crowd who despise Sanchez’s defense even louder it seems.
The truth is every fanbase has their crazy section and Yankees’ fans who want Sanchez removed from behind the plate fit into that crazy demographic. It is crazy to want to move Sanchez from behind the plate. His offensive value is greatly increased while he is a catcher. Since August 10, 2016 Sanchez has hit 65 home runs, 26 more than second-place finisher Salvador Perez who clocks in with 39 over that same span.
Cone’s take on Sanchez was the correct one. We all know Sanchez has defensive short-comings. Sanchez knows it. Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman know it. They also know they will live with it. After all, Sanchez is still just 25 and will stay 25 all season long. He has the ability and athleticism to improve. He can’t do that if he is moved off catcher and stuck at DH.
There is no reason to move Sanchez to another position. He is good enough to stay at catcher. Any Yankees’ fan that wants Sanchez traded should be checked into a mental health facility. Thankfully, Boone and Cashman agree. It is time for Yankees’ fans to understand that Sanchez is the Yankees’ catcher and will remain so for many years to come. Its time to find something else to complain about.