Monday, July 16, 2018

Midterms Are In!

That's right, folks.  Just like real media outlets, we got GRADES to hand out at the All-Star Break!

Mind you, these are based on each player's performance in comparison to his assumed potential, not his overall ability.

They are submitted for your approval, in a twilight zone world where the Boston Red Sox are threatening to set records the most games ever won in a season.

Let's start with Catcher:


I have never seen a young catcher who looked as much like Johnny Bench as Sanchez did in his first year-and-a-half.  Terrific hitter for power, and what passes for a relatively high average these days.  Gun for an arm, and a surprising flair for framing pitches.

The only thing that seemed to bedevil him was those passed balls—with, after all, a staff that delights in spinning balls into the dirt—and with a manager who seemed to delight in humiliating him gone, this was looking to be a breakout year.

Didn't happen, which may all be due to the gonad problems that have kept him out for three weeks now, and which may have been much worse than we knew.

On the other hand, I've never heard of a groin pull affecting a guy's eyesight, and Sancho's command of the strike zone seemed to completely deteriorate this season.

One also wonders about his desire.  Of course, he's already made an estimated $1.2 million in the game, and there's absolutely no reason why Gary shouldn't be more interested in doing something infinitely more worthwhile:  fighting climate change, eradicating malaria in Third World countries, becoming a Legal Aid lawyer, etc.  The list of good causes to devote his life to is endless.

But should he choose to remain as a catcher for the New York Yankees, he needs to put more into it than we've seen so far.  Sanchez as a tremendous, power-hitting catcher would be an invaluable resource for this club.  Sanchez as a platoon first baseman...not nearly so much.


Our backup catcher has done pretty much everything he's been called upon to do, including catching Sonny Gray, which is no small feat.

The one item that got a few points taken off:  his durability.  This is a big question mark for a guy who, should Sancho's deterioration continue unabated, may be called upon to be the first-string catcher, at least until Anthony Siegler, Cashman's bow-tie wearing, one-man band of a backstop is ready to make the majors, maybe in 2023.


Hey, you gotta give him his props.  Three homers for his first three, big-league hits:  not bad for a guy who most of us thought would never get so much as a single in the show.

Nice little stopgaps like that are the sorts of moments that win pennants.  Or at least, well, One-Game Wild Card Playoffs in the City of Your Choice.

Counting on Higgy for much more, though, is likely to be counterproductive.




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