Gary Sanchez is more interested in hitting than catching, according to former Yankees hitting coach Alan Cockrell, who wasn’t retained after last season, his second with the club.
“Gary is just not a real high-energy guy, and the catching position is basically the heartbeat of the baseball field and you want an energetic guy,’’ Cockrell said on a Nashville, Tenn., radio station. “Gary is more concerned about what he is going to do at the plate and his energy lacks a little bit.”
Sanchez had a miserable season last year defensively and was challenged by former manager Joe Girardi to improve behind the plate. Sanchez, who didn’t play in Saturday’s 9-1 win over the Blue Jays, had looked better catching, but he has four passed balls in his past three games and didn’t block two wild pitches Friday night.
At the plate, Sanchez has been struggling, with a .182 average and a .585 OPS that includes a .206 on-base percentage.
After hinting on Friday night he might start Sanchez on Saturday, which would have meant working a night game followed by a day tilt, manager Aaron Boone went with Austin Romine behind the plate.
Boone said it had nothing to do with Sanchez taking a foul tip off his groin during the eighth inning Friday night, but more to do with that 8-5 loss lasting 3:22. Sanchez went 0-for-3 and struck out three times.
Romine went 0-for-2 with two walks Saturday.