Ivan Rodriguez: Yankees Catcher Gary Sanchez ‘Needs To Relax Himself’

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New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez was benched at the end of last season, and Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez suggested maybe that’s because Sanchez isn’t in a great place.

“He doesn’t enjoy baseball right now,” Rodriguez said on WFAN, via NJ.com. “He feels like … he comes to the ballpark and it’s a depressing thing for him right now. That’s what I see when he’s playing. … I think he has too much pressure on himself. He’s trying to do too much. I’ve talked to him a few times, and he’s very positive. But Gary plays in an organization and in a city where obviously, you have to do a good job pretty much every night.”

Sanchez has been the subject of continuous trade rumors since the end of last season. All of it can weigh on a player.

“I cannot speak for the team, but I’m ready to be an every-day catcher,” he recently told ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “Right now, I’m 27, and I don’t see myself as a catcher one day a week, two days a week. I don’t see my career going that way yet. I know that I can play and help the team on both sides of the ball every day.”

As for the trade talk, Sanchez says it’s out of his control. He also implied that he doesn’t want to hear about it.

“I have nothing to say about that. You have to show who you are with actions,” he told Rivera. “When 2021 is here, and I am doing my job, that will speak for itself. The only thing that matters to me is winning a championship. What I have to do is improve, keep working.”

Rodriguez said that’s not all Sanchez needs to do.

“He needs to breathe, he needs to relax himself,” Rogriguez said. “He needs to believe that he’s a great player. Now because (the mental) part of his game is not there he feels like everything else he doesn’t have.”

Sanchez had 23 hits in 156 games last season, driving in 24 RBI.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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