ALLENTOWN, Pa. — One of the first rules taught to young writers is “Show, don’t tell.”
Turns out it’s a pretty good rule for young baseball players, too.
Gary Sanchez told reporters gathered before his first rehab game Tuesday at Coca-Cola Park that his right biceps is healthy. In case there was any doubt, he then showed everyone just how healthy he was.
Sanchez drove the first pitch he saw over the right-centerfield fence to put Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on the board in the first inning of what would become an 11-7 loss at Lehigh Valley.
“He was just going out there to put a good swing on the ball,” said catcher Eddy Rodriguez, who acted as an interpreter. “It ended up being what it was, but his goal was to just see the ball and put a good swing on it.”
Sanchez, who is expected to rejoin the Yankees Friday at Wrigley Field, finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs and two strikeouts. He lined a two-out RBI double to left-center in the fourth, and then came around to score from second on a single.
“That’s Gary,” said SWB manager Al Pedrique. “I’ve had him now for two years and he can do anything he wants on the field when he shows up.”
The home run, a high pop fly that kept carrying, came against former No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel. Appel, who the Astros selected in 2012 one pick before the Cubs took future MVP Kris Bryant, entered with a 6.11 ERA and has yet to reach the major leagues.
Sanchez, who is slated to catch again Wednesday for Scranton (12-11) and then play designated hitter on Thursday, said he would be ready if Austin’s Romine’s injury necessitated an earlier call up than anticipated.
If it indeed was his only rehab start, at least it provided decent simulation of the pace of Yankees games. Sanchez caught seven innings of the contest, which lasted more than three hours and featured 28 hits and eight walks. Chad Green allowed five runs in five innings, his worst outing of the year.
Lehigh Valley did not attempt a stolen base, but Pedrique said Sanchez’s throws between innings looked good.
“We know he’s going to hit,” Pedrique said. “The defense, we want to make sure he’s ready and 100 percent.”
When asked again how he felt after the game, Sanchez did not need the question translated.
“Bien,” he said quickly, laughing.
“He said he felt good,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez’s translation was unnecessary. Sanchez had already shown exactly how he felt.