"The only way to stay up here is to stay focused."
"Since spring training the Yankees have raved about Sanchez's improved defense and maturity. Often it's hard to tell whether comments like that are genuine or an attempt to boost a player's perceived value. The Yankees, though, seem universal in their praise of Sanchez's recent improvements, and they held onto him through the trade deadline. They also assigned him to the Arizona Fall League strictly so that he could catch and call a few more games, increasing both his workload and his experience.
'I started early in spring training,' Sanchez said. 'So when the season got started, I was into the flow of things much better than the previous year.'"
Getting the extra work helps and let's not forget, the guy was a call-up this fall. What will we see? Maybe a few at bats... maybe nothing. But there is no question that the Yankees are very high on him.
And on the subject of September call-ups, a lot of chatter about the youngsters and whether or not they should even get a shot when they're called up in September. On the one hand, it's a perk to just sit on the big bench with the pros, but as we've seen for years, alot of times the kids never play.
I was questioned for my recent take on Rob Refsnyder. I wrote PUNISHING REFSNYDER FOR BEING YOUNG. There was nothing earth shattering in the piece. My biggest concern was that I found that Joe Girardi was talking about of both sides of his mouth, suggesting that he was gonna play his guys that got the Yankees right near the top of the AL East. He was hell bent on not playing Refsnyder because of that, yet, Slade Heathcott got in the lineup. Why?
"Generally speaking, it seems two things have to happen for a young player to get regular at bats:
1. An existing player has to play his way out of a role, either through poor performance, injury, or by reaching the end of his contract.
2. A young player has to play his way into a role, either by forcing the issue with his own performance or by being the best option when a team is forced to find an alternative."
Pretty obvious and again, goes back to Gary Sanchez in a sense. With focus, you play your way into a role, and in the process, someone would be phased out.
September call-ups is always fun. You get to see the kids. Obviously I am at the point right now where I understand fully that someone like Stephen Drew is not being phased out of his 2nd base role this year. We can rank on his average all day long, but he is hitting home runs. I am just hoping maybe Ref gets a few at bats. Same with Gary Sanchez. With 4 catchers on the 4o man roster... the playing time is minimal... maybe not at all at the Pro level this year. But hey, they're up!
I really like what I hear from Sanchez though... "The only way to stay up here is to stay focused."
Words to live by, by a 22 year old prospect. Pretty sophisticated, I must say.
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