Gary Sanchez gave the media the cold shoulder at a public appearance, but New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone fielded questions about his catcher’s offseason surgery.
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez told the press to keep their distance during an autograph signing on Saturday. The 25-year-old had debridement surgery on his left shoulder on Thursday and ostensibly wanted to avoid talking about the procedure.
Sanchez Tweeted after the surgery that it was “a success” and that he anticipates “a healthy 2019.” Apparently, that’s all he has to say about it.
Thank you te everyone who sent well wishes. Surgery was minor and a success. Look forward to a healthy 2019. // Gracias a todos los que me enviaron sus buenos deseos. La cirugía fue menor y exitosa. Estoy esperando un 2019 saludable.
— Gary Sanchez (@ElGarySanchez) November 9, 2018
The All-Star backstop took a leap backward in 2018, and it’s unclear what role injuries played in his shabby output. After crushing 53 bombs and hitting .288 in his first two years with the Yankees, Sanchez scratched out a .186/.291/.406 slash line this season.
Aaron Boone believes that Sanchez’s shoulder may have had a minute part in throwing Sanchez off.
“Maybe to some degree, there was some [hindrance] even when you don’t know it is affecting you,” Boone told the New York Post’s George A. King III.
Sanchez also missed significant time with a groin strain this year. Getting him 100 percent healthy in 2019 would be a boon to an offense that is already loaded with power.
However, having Sanchez behind the plate for a full season could be an issue. He led the MLB in passed balls for the second straight year, despite starting only 74 games at Catcher.
There’s some good news for Yankees fans, though.
Sanchez Tweeted a photo with 13-time Gold Glover Ivan Rodriguez in the first week of November. Apparently, Pudge imparted some wisdom to Sanchez:
Part of wanting to get better is wanting to learn from those who have been great and done it before you. Thank you for the knowledge @Pudge_Rodriguez // Parte de querer ser mejor es aprender de quienes ya fueron grandes antes que tu. Gracias a @Pudge_Rodriguez por sus consejos. pic.twitter.com/B2GwBYOUdd
— Gary Sanchez (@ElGarySanchez) November 7, 2018
If some of that “knowledge” doesn’t sink in, the Bombers will have a serious dilemma on their hands. Giancarlo Stanton is clogging up the DH position for the next decade, and I can only imagine the horror of Sanchez trying to pick low throws at first base.
But if he can put it all together in 2019, Gary Sanchez could steal back some of the spotlight from Aaron Judge. I’m sure Judge would be happy to share.