The New York Yankees were looking for someone to spark their mediocre offense this month and Gary Sanchez answered the call.
New York Yankees‘ catcher Gary Sanchez has two sides to his identity.
The first is, of course, Gary Sanchez. A young backstop still learning the ropes of the Major Leagues. He’ll run into some home runs, but he’ll cost you some games with his play behind the plate with what has been labeled as laziness.
His alter-ego is “The Kraken.” A baseball history-making phenom that has no desire to lose — let alone not hit home runs. We saw this creature come out last season and it turned an exhausting 2016 Yankees’ season into a promising one.
Now, during a time in which the Yankees’ desperately needed an offensive push, Sanchez has released his inner monster yet again this month. I may be corny right now, but I’m not wrong.
Since the month of August opened, Sanchez owns a .333/.410/.745 slash line with six home runs and 13 RBI’s in 15 games. That includes a nine-game stretch since August 9 where the 24-year-old is 13-for-32 (.406) with five homers. His five RBI’s during New York’s 7-5 win over their crosstown rival was his latest masterpiece and shows us exactly what he can do for the Bombers: lift them over the hump.
The Yankees entered that day (Aug. 9) ranked 26th among Major League teams in runs scored (98 runs) since the All-Star break. That’s mostly thanks to Aaron Judge‘s atrocious second-half slump and Aaron Hicks, Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro being on the disabled list.
They needed a spark. Additions via waiver trade seemed far-fetched. There was no blossoming prospect in Triple-A ready to make a significant impact. The Kraken was released at the greatest possible point.
Since Sanchez began his tear in Toronto, the Yankees rank ninth in runs scored (44) and are sixth in home runs (14) among Major League teams. That puts their offense right up there with one of baseball’s best bullpens and a rotation featuring the dynamic duo of Luis Severino and Sonny Gray. The impact is felt throughout the 25-man roster and the standings.
As New York heads into their weekend series with the American League East-leading Boston Red Sox at Fenway, they’ll be armed with a scary sight: Sanchez on fire.
The Yankees already gained 1.5 games despite the Red Sox winning two-of-three this week and in the hole by just 4.5 games with over a month left in 2017. Upon Sanchez’s promotion last year, the Yankees’ went on to post the fifth-best record in the AL while pulling within one game of a postseason spot.
If that and his recent performance tells us anything, it’s that an encore presentation of his rise to stardom last year will do more than just bring the young Bombers close to the playoffs. It could push them over the hump and bring home a divisional crown to the Bronx for the first time since 2012.