Sanchez gets the call

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez prepares to catch the ball in the bullpen during a spring training workout Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / Chris O’Meara

With the Yankees’ offense sputtering and some lineup regulars out with injuries, the team has called up catching prospect Gary Sanchez for this weekend’s series against the White Sox.

With Brian McCann being one of the most durable catchers in the game, it is surprising to see Sanchez called up this early in the season with McCann at full strength. The Yankees will start Sanchez at designated hitter on Friday with White Sox southpaw Chris Sale on the mound.

It could be a short stint in the Bronx for Sanchez. Another lefty, Jose Quintana, starts on Saturday. Perhaps the Yankees call up Rob Refsnyder after that. Or Sanchez could stick around as the DH until Alex Rodriguez returns from the disabled list.

Sanchez made his major league debut at the end of 2015 and got two at-bats. He played 27 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, hitting .288 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI. The 23-year-old catcher has displayed a good bat throughout his seven seasons in the minor leagues, hitting .275 with 94 home runs and a .339 on-base percentage in 2,518 MiLB plate appearances.

McCann is signed through the 2019 season and would seem to block Sanchez’s path to a regular job. It also doesn’t make sense to have a talented young player resigned to a backup role where he plays once a week. So perhaps Sanchez’s future in the Bronx is as a DH – or in some part-time role with McCann between the two positions.

He will get a tough test against Sale tonight but it will be interesting to see how Sanchez fares at the big league level. The Yankees sure could use a bat like his.

The Wall Street Journal recently did a story on the Mets and how the team has relied heavily upon the home run this season. Click here to read it.

Does that sound familiar, Yankees’ fans?

Entering Wednesday’s game in Los Angeles, the Mets had scored 77 of 139 runs via the home run. That’s ahead of the record pace of 53.1 percent of runs via homers set by the Blue Jays in 2010. Tampa Bay (56.5 percent), the Mets (55.4), Baltimore (53.2) and Seattle (51.4) are scoring the majority of runs via the long ball this season.

The Mets will certainly take runs any way they can get them. The question is, can the team sustain this homer-happy pace?

Yoenis Cespedes leads the team with 11 home runs. Neil Walker is second with nine and is followed by Lucas Duda (7) and Curtis Granderson (6). Noah Sydergaard (2) and Bartolo Colon (1!) have also contributed.

Walker almost certainly won’t keep up his power hitting. He’s on pace for 45.6 home runs yet his career high is 23, which he set playing in 137 games in 2014.

Cespedes is on track for 59.4 homers. His career high is 35, which he set last year between Detroit and New York.

The Mets are tied with the Cardinals with 51 home runs for first place in the majors. Mets’ hitters rank 16th with 57 doubles. So expect some of those home runs to turn into doubles and balance things out for the offense in the weeks and months to come. As long as the Mets are still getting runners on base, those doubles are still going to result in runs.

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    Will Montgomery

    Will Montgomery covers boys' soccer, girls' basketball, boys' and girls' swimming and diving, boys' lacrosse and baseball (including the Hudson Valley Renegades) for Varsity845.com and the Times Herald-Record. Prior to joining the TH-R in November ... Read Full
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