NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Gary Sanchez #57 of the New York Yankees in action against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium on May 13, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The White Sox defeated the Yankees 7-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Gary Sanchez, one potential future star for the Yankees, will begin to take ground balls at first base in AAA Scranton. This is not groundbreaking news; the majority of catchers nowadays need to make the switch to first base at some point (i.e. Joe Mauer) and it is a good skill to have in Sanchez’s arsenal. It also provides an organization with flexibility.
Bryan Hoch was the first to report the news on Twitter, saying manager Joe Girardi still sees Sanchez as a catcher, and compared the situation to what they did with current backup catcher Austin Romine.
With Brian McCann still on the roster and Romine entrenched as the backup catcher, it is good for Sanchez to get reps at first base, especially with Mark Teixeira sidelined with a knee injury. It will increase his chances of getting at bats, something the young man needs. Sanchez is part of the core of young guys Yankees fans are clamoring to see. Since Greg Bird will return at first base next year, don’t expect to see Sanchez playing first base much, if at all.
More importantly, Sanchez’s right thumb is fine after it was cracked from a foul tip. He is cleared to resume full baseball activities, according to Chad Jennings of LoHud Yankees Blog.