Didi Gregorius seems to think a change of teams is the answer for struggling Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.
Appearing on WFAN’s Moose and Maggie show, Gregorius, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020, admitted that he hadn’t kept pace with Yankees news. The hosts filled him in, highlighting the fact that Sanchez’s poor performance in 2020 led to him losing his job.
Backup catcher Kyle Higashioka started five of the Yankees’ seven postseason contests.
During the interview, co-host Marc Malusis asked Didi what analysts get wrong about Sanchez. Gregorius said his former teammate is perceived as a low-effort player, but he’s actually a hard worker.
Gregorius also believes that misconception is amplified by the fact he plays in New York, where constant media attention gave him a label he can’t quite shake.
“I probably think he’s a little frustrated with all of that,” Gregorius told his interviewers. “I think he needs a change of scenery or something and just be back to his regular self.”
Such a return to normal for Sanchez might resemble his 2016 and 2017 performances. In his first two MLB seasons, he clobbered 53 homers in 173 games for the Yankees.
He also hit for average, slashing .299/.376/.657 in 2016 and .278/.345/.531 in 2017.
After setting that high bar for himself, Sanchez delivered mainly disappointment in the following three campaigns. His power remained, but his average dropped to .186 in 2018. It ticked up slightly to .232 the next year, and then plummeted to .147 in the truncated 2020 season.
Sanchez won’t be a free agent until 2023. So, even if he were to agree with Gregorius’s prognosis, all he can do for now is wait for the Yankees to give up on him.