Brian Cashman is betting the house on Gary Sanchez.
Despite Sanchez’s struggles at the plate and behind it, the Yankees' general manager said he thinks the catcher is close to turning it around, and that the Yankees are confident that he can put it together in time for a playoff run.
“We’re doubling down on him,” Cashman said. “We’re tripling down on Gary Sanchez because we know the ceiling that is there and the capabilities this player has on both sides of the ball. We have a short time frame to get a number of players finding their groove. He’s one of them.”
Sanchez entered Friday night with a 167/.303/.315 slash line and 18 strikeouts in 16 games since being reinstated from the disabled list. The catcher, who was not in the starting lineup against the Orioles, had a .184/.287/.398 slash line with 16 homers and 47 RBIs in 82 games overall. Cashman, however, said he is “capable of doing a lot of good things” and added that he came in on the Yankees’ off day Monday to put in extra work.
“The quote Reggie Jackson had back in the day, ‘If you have the bat still in your hand, you can change the narrative.’ And it’s a big bat we’re talking about with Gary Sanchez,” Cashman said. “We do believe maybe the best is yet to come.”
Gardner, Bird on bubble
Cashman wouldn’t say outright if Brett Gardner and Greg Bird will be left off the postseason roster, but he did seem to imply that Gardner is more likely to make it and Bird less so. Gardner’s struggles, he said, have been more recent.
“In most cases, the answer should be obvious,” he said. “We’re just going to put our best out there…[Gardner] has obviously had a big impact for us, especially in the first half. Obviously, Greg has struggled with the injury. Thankfully, Luke Voit has stepped in and done what he's done and it’s alleviated the pressure on that position.”