Gary Sanchez overcomes past struggles, shines bright for Padres

Ex-Yankees catcher and current Padres player Gary Sanchez

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Ex-Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who played for the Giants, then the Mets, and now the Padres this season, has hit 15 home runs in San Diego since May 31. That’s a lot and his performance is better than most, even better than Giancarlo Stanton’s, who seemed to be running during the weekend games like Gary Sanchez did in old videos.

Having been named an All-Star twice during his time with the New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez’s prospects in the big leagues became uncertain due to his struggles at the plate and defensive shortcomings.

However, since joining the San Diego Padres following a stint with the New York Mets, Gary Sanchez has found a solution to his struggles. The Padres have implemented a tandem system with Luis Campusano, which allows the former Yankee to have more time off from catching.

Gary Sanchez turns red hot for the Padres

According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres manager Bob Melvin mentioned that Gary Sanchez had a hot start offensively and was catching every single game, even day games after night games. He also noted that it has helped Sánchez to have the opportunity to DH and not catch every day.

Gary Sanchez’s performance with the Padres has shown improvement, with a 115 OPS+ making it his most productive period since his 2019 All-Star season with the Yankees.

He looks like the same kind of player he was back in 2019. Right now, he’s hitting .222, which means he gets a hit about every 4th time he bats. His on-base percentage (OBP) is .297, which shows how often he reaches base. He also struck out 44 times in 53 games in San Diego.

Ex-Yankees catcher and current Padres player Gary Sanchez

Interestingly, when he played as a designated hitter (DH) this season, his overall performance got worse. In the 44 games he played as a catcher, his OPS (a measure of his offensive abilities) was .837, which is pretty good. But when Gary Sanchez played as a DH, his OPS dropped to .704.

Gary Sanchez believes it’s natural for his legs to possibly feel stronger when he’s not catching every day, as conveyed through interpreter Danny Sanchez. However, he remains a catcher at heart, and if the manager decides to have him in the lineup catching every day, he is prepared for the role.

Yankees’ loss Padres gain

Having begun his professional journey as a 22-year-old with the Yankees in 2015 and spending a total of seven seasons in New York, Gary Sanchez has been attempting to revive his career after facing some challenges. During his time with the Yankees, he finished with a .230/.318/.487 slash line and experienced two consecutive underwhelming seasons. Subsequently, in March 2022, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins along with Gio Urshela in exchange for Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt.

Ex-Yankees Gary Sanchez is in San Diego Padres uniform.

By the end of 2021, Gary Sanchez really needed a new beginning somewhere other than New York. It took him around a year and a half to finally get that chance. However, the Yankees couldn’t wait that long, and they also couldn’t keep paying him more money due to his increasing salary through arbitration. Additionally, some fans were getting frustrated with his performance.

The Yankees had the responsibility of finding a way to replace the potential success Gary Sanchez could bring to the lineup with his batting. Unfortunately, they didn’t do a good job at all, and they even made things worse by bringing in someone like Donaldson, who didn’t contribute much. Isiah Kiner-Falefa managed to improve his reputation and become a popular utility player who won over the fans after some ups and downs in 2022.

As 2023 began, Gary Sanchez was in a difficult situation, and the Yankees were focusing more on strong defense from their catchers. They unexpectedly found a player in Jose Trevino who not only won a Platinum Glove award but also became an unexpected All-Star. It’s worth mentioning that Trevino seems to perform much better when he’s not dealing with a torn wrist. Unfortunately, the Yankees haven’t received much help from their catchers this season.

San Francisco signed him as a free agent in April 2023, but he was released a month later without getting the chance to play in a major league game. Afterward, the Mets picked Gary Sanchez and utilized him in Triple-A before a brief three-game appearance with the major league team, followed by his release.

Currently, Gary Sanchez is optimistic about making San Diego his long-term home.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Gary Sanchez overcomes past struggles, shines bright for Padres

  1. Sadly, we gave him many chances and it didn’t work mostly for defensive reasons, but this Gary Sanchez would be highly desirable in Yankeeland today 🤔😵😵‍💫👍🏻🤷🏻

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