Sanchez Shines in Yankees Win Over Indians 

 ‘Tex’ and Rookie Sanchez Shine in Victory Over Indians

Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

The youth movement for the New York Yankees started in the past two weeks with the trades of pitchers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman who were in the plan as a major strength of the team. But the Yankees became sellers and not buyers at the trading deadline.

Last week at the trading deadline, Carlos Beltran their best run producer was traded to the Texas Rangers for more minor league prospects that made the Yankees younger and more athletic.  However, in the Yankees minor league system there have been signs of the future and one of them is now in the Bronx.

The revamped roster for manager Joe Girardi now has three catchers in Brian McCann, Austin Romine and the rookie Gary Sanchez who got the call last week from Triple-A Scranton to be a part of this youth movement.

Sanchez, at 23 years of age from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2009, had a brief stay with New York last season, as they say a cup of coffee, and was   0-for-2 in two  games as a September call up.

Besides his quickness, Sanchez also was considered a top 50 prospect in the game and Yankees brass always said he was untouchable when his name came up in trade talks.

Friday night in the Bronx, Sanchez got his first start behind the plate since his call up. The throws to second were accurate and his speed came as advertised in the Yankees 13-7 win over the Central division leading Cleveland Indians.

“Think he did a good job  and made two good throws,” manager Joe Girardi said about his rookie catcher. Brian McCann still has the starting job behind the plate and Friday night was slotted in as the designated hitter, the spot that Sanchez had in his first few games.

“Feel great, feel confident,” Sanchez said through an interpreter about his start behind the plate and his first Major League RBI with a fifth inning double. He has hit safely in all three games since his recall Wednesday.

Sanchez threw out two attempted base stealers within the first five Cleveland batters of the game.   Calm and confident was Sanchez and the manager noticed.

“Purpose of spring training is matching players up,” Girardi said.

He used that example as to how and why Sanchez was so comfortable behind the plate working with starting pitcher and winner Michael Pineda, who worked six innings, gave up six hits, and a home run in winning his sixth game of the season.

As Girardi and his team continue to try and win ballgames. there are still 55 games to go, even though the Yankees are just about out of the race and have been for a long time.

But the manager said, Pineda handled the Indians well, a team with the second best hitting in the league. And Starlin Castro, 2-for-3 hit his first career grand slam in the Yankees five-run third inning.

“He’s  going to catch and trying to figure it out,” Girardi said about his new youngster in the lineup. “Him being younger, I’m not worried about day game after a night game,” Sanchez may start behind the plate for the Saturday afternoon game against the Indians at Yankee Stadium.

Prior to the game, Mark Teixeira announced this was his last season as an active player after 14 -years with the Texas Rangers and the Yankees. With 404 career home runs, he is one of five switch hitters in baseball history to reach 400 home runs.

Teixeira, holder of five Gold Gloves has been hindered by numerous injuries the past few years and he said it was time to spend more time with his family.

He had two hits in four at bats, with a double hours after his emotional and compelling meeting with the media. Teixeira has extra base hits in three  straight games but that won’t change his mind about not returning next season and he got a great ovation from the fans.

Regardless, this is the final year of his contract with the Yankees and the youth movement has his position at first base locked in with Greg Bird.

Said Girardi about the retiring veteran, “ Last couple of weeks have been better. With the emotions he went through it’s probably very rewarding.  

“A lot of the Indians players and the umpires came up and congratulated me,” Teixeira said. “It was nice to get that ovation  and to be able to come through for them.”

And then, Teixeira said he will be watching Sanchez. 

Yes, the youth movement is in motion for the New York Yankees. 

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