Friday, May 26, 2023

So Much For A "Clean Slate": Mets Designate Sanchez For Assignment

Gary Sanchez at-bat in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. Photo by Jason Schott.

Last Friday, Mets Manager Buck Showalter said that ex-Yankee Gary Sanchez would have a "clean slate" across town, with options to be used as catcher or designated hitter.

Less than a week later, on Thursday, the Mets designated Sanchez for assignment when they activated Tomas Nido from the injured list.

Sanchez played in just three games, and had one hit in six at-bats with three strikeouts. He made two starts at catcher, in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader against Cleveland, when he caught Max Scherzer, who threw six shutout innings, and on Tuesday in the series opener at the Chicago Cubs.

The Mets should have given serious consideration to him as their designated hitter, as he does have 154 home runs, including 16 last year with Minnesota and a career-high 34 with the Yankees in 2019, with 33 in 2017 as well.

By comparison, Daniel Vogelbach has just 69 home runs in eight seasons, and this season, he is hitting just .232 (23-for-99) with two home runs and 13 RBI, with 22 walks and 31 strikeouts. The best stat, an analytics dream, is his .372 on-base percentage, 139 points higher than his batting average.

Vogelbach also came with a lot of hype when the Mets acquired him last summer, but he really can't play the field at all, and with two or three bench players, that is a luxury the Mets cannot afford.

Though Sanchez isn't a great catcher, as exhibited by his passed balls, he can play there and first base when necessary.

What is missed when a player is designated for assignment is they could accept a trip to the minor leagues. Whether Sanchez, who was also cut by San Francisco earlier this season, does that is a big question.


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