Gerrit Cole started his second spring training as a Yankee on Monday afternoon, and he was notable not for his selection of pitches, but for who threw those pitches at him.
The person receiving Cole’s 28-length outing against the Detroit Tigers was Gary Sanchez, a lightning rod for some New York Yankees fans, especially after what happened last season when he s ‘is beaten offensively and defensively.
On Monday, Cole spent most of his one-inning period perfecting his break point while throwing five of his 11 non-fast balls to the ground.
“He came out at the right time to give me a break,” Cole told reporters. “I thought we did a good job today, so I was confident we would post whatever we needed. He also made some good boulders in the dirt, so I thought we were doing a good job together. ”
It was the first time since Aug. 31 against Tampa Bay that the Yankees had used drums. It was also Cole’s most frustrating release date in an otherwise solid season opening up to his nine-year contract with the Yankees.
In his last game with Sanchez, Cole had seven strikeouts, but also allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. At the time, Cole was 4-2 with a 3.91 ERA and allowed 12 homers in 46 innings.
Sánchez is one of 16 receivers Cole has launched since his debut in 2013. In eight starts spanning 46 innings, he has a 3.91 ERA with Sánchez, but eight starts in a short season is not enough for anyone, so the manager Aaron Boone has previously said Cole won’t have a personal receiver.
He worked with him a lot here early on, whether it was bullpens or live BP and things like that, ”Boone said. “I’m going to keep doing this, but it’s not something I’m saying, ‘He’s absolutely with him. ”
It’s not Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett struggled to establish a good relationship in 2009, which is one of the few issues for a team that produced a magical 103-win season followed by its 27th league. At the time, Burnett produced a 4.96 ERA in 16 games against Posada against a 3.28 ERA in 11 games with Jose Molina. The following season, Burnett had a 7.28 ERA with Posada.
The numbers with Cole throwing Sanchez are nothing compared to the Burnett-Posada dynamic. In the end, it all came down to Sanchez’s horrific attack that left him on the bench for most of the playoffs, although if the Yankees ended up going to the American League Championship Series, Boone said Sanchez would have been late for the set by Cole.
“We’ve done a lot of work here at Spring Training,” Sánchez said through an interpreter. “The idea was to be on the same page and work together smoothly. I’m trying to do my best to help you. It will also help me. Having another year of experience catching up with him also helps. ”
It also helped when Sanchez hit a gigantic three-run homerun on a ball that traveled 429 feet down midfield.
When you’re an off-season story that gets talked a lot, it’s definitely nice, ”Boone said.
In the end, Cole probably doesn’t care who the recipient of his throws is. The goal, in addition to fine-tuning a sufficiently effective pitch mix, is to go beyond exhibition matches and arrive on April 1 without physical problems.
“I think we both had a great time,” Cole said. “It was our first two experiences with fans on the pitch for a while. I thought I made some good shots, we kept the ball in front of us and he liked the way some fields were broken. He gave me good comments on this. It was a good day “.
The Yankees have seen Sanchez’s many good days, especially at home plate. That’s why they didn’t rule him out in December, because even with 156 at bat in 49 games last season, they saw a lot of good things in the other 1,549 players at bat in the regular season.