'I didn't know why I wasn't playing': Gary Sanchez on getting benched in the playoffs — and his future with the Yankees

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Marly RiveraESPN Writer


Marly Rivera is a writer for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.

Entering the 2020 season, there was never any doubt who the starting catcher was for the New York Yankees. That ended with the headline-grabbing benching of one of the most polarizing players to wear a Yankees uniform in recent memory. Which leaves everyone — fans, the Yankees, the man himself — wondering: What’s next for Gary Sanchez?

Since his debut in 2016, Sanchez seemed ready to rewrite the record books with every swing, becoming one of the fastest players in MLB history to reach most of his career home run totals. Sanchez is one of only four catchers in MLB history with multiple 30-homer seasons prior to his age-27 season, and his 115 career HRs are third most by a player through 421 career games.

But that exceptional power at the catcher position has come at a price. Sanchez’s defense has gone from inconsistent to a liability. His defensive woes, particularly his inability to dependably block pitches in the dirt, are well-documented. Sanchez’s 52 career passed balls are the most for any big league catcher over the past five

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