We’ve become conditioned to expect a fall from grace, right? Matt Harvey. Odell Beckham Jr. Even Kristaps Porzingis, a little.
Never has it been more challenging to be young, talented and famous (stupid social media), and those who play professional sports in New York face a particularly high degree of difficulty.
Enter Gary Sanchez and a Masahiro Tanaka splitter that evaded him Wednesday night, and the Yankees’ stud catcher unwittingly plugged himself into this conversation. In his first full big league season, in the wake of his spectacular 2016 debut, had he begun to rest on his laurels and believe his own hype? Had his defense Brandon McManus Womens Jersey suffered even as he continued to rake?
All that can be stated for sure is this: After Sanchez earned himself an in-game discussion with manager Joe Girardi in the middle of Wednesday’s game with the White Sox for failing to catch Tanaka’s third-inning third strike to Jose Abreu, the 24-year-old’s superiors and teammates mobilized around him. That stands as a positive sign, for the tales of Harvey and Beckham both reached a point where they received public scoldings from people on their side.
“This kid’s tough. This kid wants to be good,” Yankees first-base coach Tony Pena, who works with the team’s catchers, said Thursday, before the Yankees and White Sox concluded their series at Guaranteed Rate Field (worst ballpark name ever). “He doesn’t want to get out of the lineup, and he’s going to play through a lot of things. It’s really http://www.officialauthenticbroncostore.com/Nike-Brandon-Marshall-J... hard to find a kid like him.”
“He’s learning. He’s learning the league,” Yankees backup catcher Austin Romine said of Sanchez. “It’s his first full time around the league. I remember my first time. It’s a lot, especially in this division, in the AL, in the East.”
Entering Thursday’s action, Sanchez’s six passed balls tied him with four other catchers for the second-most in the American League, behind Oakland’s Josh Phegley, who had seven. His caught-stealing percentage had declined from last year’s stellar 41 percent to 32 percent.
Any slower movements behind the plate, Pena said, can be attributed not to a lack of effort on Sanchez’s part, but rather to a bunch of aches and pains. Similarly, Girardi absolved Sanchez of jogging to first base when he hit into a fifth-inning double play by noting the groin injury the second-year player suffered in Oakland on June 15.
“If you want to play in the big leagues for a long time, if you want to play 140 games or above, there’s no way you can play 100 percent. There’s no way,” said Pena, who ranks sixth all-time with 1,950 games at catcher. “There’s so many injuries. That’s how you make a great Anibal Sanchez Womens Jersey catcher. You need to be tough. And he’s tough. He’s going to get better. He’s going to be in the big leagues for a long time. He’s going to be a frontline catcher. I’m telling you.”
The failure to block Tanaka’s splitter, which was scored as a wild pitch, upset Sanchez, according to Pena.
“Sometimes he’s just frustrated because he doesn’t like to make an error,” Pena said. “He doesn’t like the ball to go by him. He hates it. He hates that. But we feel like he’s going to be fine.”
Maybe Sanchez’s season would carry a different vibe if he were struggling at the plate in addition to behind it. Instead, he took a .285/.376/.536 slash line, with 13 homers in 179 at-bats, into Thursday’s game. If he hasn’t matched his spectacular 2016 http://www.authentictigershop.com/authentic-57-francisco-rodriguez-... rookie output (.299/.376/.657, with 20 homers in 201 at-bats), he has nevertheless continued to establish himself as one of the game’s best-hitting catchers.
And in his own clubhouse, if he has established himself as anything negative, then no one’s fessing up to that. Which means the Yankees don’t think Sanchez needs to be called out.
“The effort’s there,” Pena said. “Nobody can accuse this kid of not [showing] effort. He cares. He cares a lot.
You have to work very hard, after all, to prevent the sort of fall we have seen time and again.