LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Complete Split With Tribe After Sanchez Benching

Monday, August 7, 2017

Yankees Complete Split With Tribe After Sanchez Benching

After the Yankees dropped their second straight game in Cleveland Friday night, it was extremely hard to stay positive about the remainder of the four-game series. In fact, I could not. Thankfully, the team itself could, and when all was said and done they left Cleveland with a split of the series.

After a low-scoring pitchers' duel on Saturday, the Yankees' bats finally woke up in yesterday's game, providing a cushion for their ace, Luis Severino. It was good to see, so much so, that I'm almost sorry that today is an off-day. Let's hope that, in Toronto this week, the offense builds on what it started. 

That offensive outburst did not include C Gary Sanchez, who was benched. Everyone interviewed after the game--including Joe Girardi, Austin Romine and Sanchez, himself--tried to downplay the benching, with Sanchez admitting he still has work to do to improve his defense. Sanchez was visibly uncomfortable during the exchange with reporters, however, and that discomfort seemed to increase as the exchange went on.

So, what's the reason for this defensive regression? It's easy (and, frankly, a cop-out) to say that it's laziness. It's more responsible to say that it is the 12 extra pounds of muscle Sanchez put on that might be keeping him from moving as well behind the plate. The muscle gain might have a lot to do with it, but could there be something else as well? Something Sanchez doesn't appear to be doing anymore?

What I'm talking about is chewing tobacco. It seems as if Gary Sanchez has begun to alternate the tobacco with bubble gum, or has sworn off the tobacco altogether. Everyone knows how addictive this disgusting habit is. I wonder if the kid has been going through withdrawal and, if so, perhaps that is why his defense has suffered lately.

Whatever the problem is, I hope it is solved soon.

The six-man rotation problem has been solved, at the expense of Jordan Montgomery. Poor guy. First he becomes a victim of Girardi's inability to stop playing with his shiny new toy (Taken out after 65 pitches? At least wait until he's at 85!), then he falls in the numbers game. All's not lost, however. We'll see him again around September 1, if not sooner. As I write this, there is no corresponding move yet. My guess is it will be Aaron Hicks, who has been rehabbing at Scranton for nearly a week.

Although, a second call-up for Miguel Andujar would make sense as well. Actually, Andujar should have been called up to replace Matt Holliday, in my opinion. Instead, Holliday's spot was filled by Garrett Cooper. Very confusing. We will probably find out what it all means sometime tomorrow.

Enjoy the off-day, Yankees Universe.

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