Career On The Brink
by John Jastremski
Mar 03, 2021 | 5431 views | 0 0 comments | 717 717 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are certain players that I can bring up, no matter the time, no matter the place, that immediately light up the phone lines.

Alex Rodriguez, Carmelo Anthony, Matt Harvey and, yes, you can add Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez to that list.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the embattled but talented Yankee backstop.

Sanchez is great for talk radio, but the Yankees need him to be a stabilizing force behind the plate in 2021, which is something he was not a season ago.

I won't sugarcoat it, Gary Sanchez was an absolute abomination in 2020. His batting average was under .150, and he struck out an astonishing 64 times in 156 plate appearances.

Yes, he hit 10 home runs with 24 RBI's, but his performance at the plate and behind it were not Major League-starter quality.

Sanchez's poor play was not only a talking point on “JJ After Dark” last season, it was a talking point for Yankees manager Aaron Boone on a nightly basis.

How could a player so talented and so gifted look so lost.

Aaron Boone is a very positive person. He didn't bash Gary Sanchez in the media or call him out publicly, but Boone's actions last October tell you all you need to know regarding how he felt about Gary's dismal season.

In the final three games of the Division Series, including a winner-take-all Game 5, against the Tampa Bay Rays, Gary Sanchez was on the bench.

It was a no-brainer. Sanchez's play was not worthy of being on the field in the most important Yankees games of the year.

The Yankees had a decision to make in the offseason. Tender the beleaguered catcher a contract for the 2021 season or decide to say goodbye.

The Yankees decided to give their troubled catcher once last chance to live up to the potential that he has shown for glimpses throughout his big-league career.

Remember, this is the same catcher that took baseball by storm in 2016 with a record setting home run pace.

Sanchez also delivered two All-Star seasons in both 2017 and 2019, hitting over 30 homers and driving in over 75 runs in both campaigns.

Yankees fans were given a nice treat Monday watching Sanchez dig in for a homer over the Batters Eye in dead centerfield in their second exhibition game of the season.

It sure would be nice to see a whole lot more of that throughout 2021. The talent is there, there's no denying that.

However, will the talent be on display come April at Yankee Stadium? It's make-or-break time for the Yankees catcher.

It's time for Gary Sanchez to prove he should be the guy moving forward, or he should be wearing a different uniform.
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