Yankees re-re­lease the Kraken in mon­ster come­back year

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

In a sea­son that has seen the New York Yankees lose many of their big bats to in­jury, the resur­gence of Gary Sanchez couldn’t have been bet­ter-timed.

In­deed, as of early June, the Bombers’ 26-year-old catcher was en­joy­ing a Re­nais­sance year in The Bronx, sport­ing a .267 av­er­age with an Amer­i­can League-lead­ing 18 home runs, 35 RBIs, a .341 on-base per­cent­age and a stel­lar .994 OPS while help­ing the Yanks to a first-place stand­ing in the AL East. That’s a far cry from the down year he had last year, when he home­red 18 times over the en­tire sea­son while hit­ting only .186.

Of course, there were very good ex­pla­na­tions for Sanchez’s 2018 dropoff. He did two stints on the in­jured list for a groin strain that ham­pered his catch­ing and run­ning, and he played much of the year with a shoul­der in­jury that af­fected his throw­ing and swing­ing and ul­ti­mately re­quired off­sea­son surgery.

Now healthy, the 6-feet-2-inch, 230-pound hulk known as “the Kraken” is look­ing like the All-Star ver­sion of 2017, when his 33 homers shat­tered the Yan­kee record for catch­ers set by Yogi Berra and Jorge Posada and his cannon-like arm shut down op­pos­ing base steal­ers. He cred­its his suc­cess this year to swing­ing at strikes, not giv­ing up at-bats and, of course, health. His team­mates mar­vel at the re­turn of his mon­strous power.

Satur­day, June 29, Sanchez and the Yankees take a trip across the pond to Eng­land, where they’ll open a two-game se­ries against the archri­val Boston Red Sox at Lon­don Sta­dium in a game air­ing on Fox.

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