Adam Ottavino knew the reputation. Zack Britton had not heard good things. The mistakes of a young catcher have been dogging Gary Sanchez his whole career. So the two relievers came to the Yankees a little wary of working with the 26-year old.
They very quickly became fans and found his reputation to be wrong.
“For me, you never know what to expect coming in with a new catcher. I know there’s been a narrative about his catching. I thought he’s been pretty awesome the whole year,” Ottavino said. “It only took him like three games in spring training to figure out kind of my MO and just kind of go from there. He’s real easy to talk to. He works really hard. He pays attention. I’m guessing he’s come a long way, but I think he’s doing a pretty good job.”
Sanchez is known for his ability to unleash power at the plate. But with the Yankees planning to be so aggressive with their bullpen, they are putting a lot of their postseason hopes on Sanchez’s plate to not only deliver offensively, but to guide power-pitchers with different tendencies every night.
He had a bounce-back season after a nightmare 2018 at the plate and behind it. Last year, the catcher could not have had a worse season. Battling a nagging groin injury, the catcher hit just .186 with a .406 slugging percentage. He hit 18 homers and struck out 94 times in 323 at-bats. He also allowed a major-league leading 18 passed balls last season and finished with just seven this season.