CLEVELAND – The only All-Star with a better redemption history than Sonny Gray could be the catcher whom the right-handed player did not want to throw.
And no one, be it pitcher, fan or opposing manager, does not avoid Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez.
While Gray, the Yankee Rottene (who prefers to work with Austin Romine), arrived at the Midsummer Classic as a replacement, Sanchez crossed here with the power of an outstanding season and a thundering fan support only a year after seeing his future in Had drawn doubts.
Sanchez started the All-Star game at Progressive Field on Tuesday night as a catcher for the American League and went into the AL's 4-1-2-3 victory with a double and a run.
With the AL's 1
"It feels great," Sanchez said Monday through an interpreter. "I really focused on improving things that I needed to work off-season, and being here and not just being here, but being here because the fans voted for me means a lot, because it means the job was worth my effort, and the fans have noticed it. "
Asked what he was working on, Sanchez said," Offensively he searched for my place in the area and did not swing on pitches outside the area. Defensively, I worked with Brownie [Yankees catching coach Jason Brown] and he helped me to receive, especially to receive and framed, pitches outside the zone.
The 26-year-old Sanchez has a slash line of .245 / .315 /. 556, a lot more than last year (.186 / .291 / .406). He was also punished with only five balls after registering 18 balls last year. No wonder he won the fan-voting to start his first all-star game after playing in reserve in 2017.
When AL manager Alex Cora from rival Red Sox launched his starting lineup on Monday, he described Sanchez as follows: "Power hitting catcher dominating the game on both sides. What he did defensively for the New York Yankees was great. "
" That means a lot to me, "Sanchez said of Cora's praise," because people do not know how much work I put into my defense. I think I will continue to improve and I will continue to improve. But it's even more important because pitchers depend on me. And they need me to be good back there. "