Tag: Anthony Siegler

Catchers: Sánchez seeks rebound, Higashioka’s second look, prospects, and more [2021 Season Preview]

With spring training now in full swing and a new season upon us, it’s time to bring back our season preview series. This year, we’re doing things a little bit differently. Instead of writing up each and every individual player, we’re doing top-to-bottom organizational previews by position. Not only will this provide a set up for the 2021 MLB season’s storylines, but it’ll also give us a look at what’s in store with the minor leagues returning this summer. Lastly, at the bottom of each post, we will have a depth chart by playing level.

Today, we start at catcher. A fitting place to begin given that catchers have been in camp for a few days already now. Let’s dive in.

Pressure on Gary Sánchez

Gary Sánchez, much to many fans’ chagrin, is the incumbent starting catcher. We’ve gotten a reprieve from the Sánchez discourse for the past few months, but things have kicked back into gear now that spring training has begun. And understandably so given how 2020 ended for the 28 year-old backstop.

2021 feels like a make-or-break season for Sánchez. He’s two years from free agency and has been on a roller coaster since 2018. A hot start would do wonders, wouldn’t it? Sure, there’s always a magnifying glass on his performance, but never quite like this. After all, last year was pretty embarrassing for Sánchez. He didn’t hit during the regular season (.147/.253/.365, 68 wRC+) and was a mess defensively. By season’s end, he was no longer paired with team ace Gerrit Cole and started just two of the team’s seven postseason games. So yeah, a torrid start to 2021 would go a long way for Gary.

With pitchers and catchers reporting to camp, Yankees finally announce non-roster invitees

Via @Yankees

The wait is over. And no, I’m not talking about pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training today. Rather, the Yankees finally announced the club’s non-roster invitees to big league camp this morning.

The vast majority of these players are no surprise given the trickle of minor league deals during the offseason. However, there are a few players who popped up out of nowhere. For instance, there was no word of Derek Dietrich or Nick Goody joining the Bombers until the team pushed out this announcement. Then there are a couple of prospects, namely last year’s first rounder Austin Wells, who are aboard.

The Yankees officially will have 72 players in camp (really, 73 once Justin Wilson is announced). Let’s break down those joining the club’s 40-man roster.

Catchers

Ample catching is always a requirement early in camp, and the Yankees will have seven more backstops in tow alongside Gary Sánchez and Kyle Higashioka.

Of this subgroup of NRIs, Robinson Chirinos is the only player likely to see any time in New York. Now, don’t expect him to unseat Sánchez or Higashioka out of camp, but Chirinos is the break glass in case of [injury] option. Chirinos, 36, is a lifetime .231/.325/.431 (102 wRC+) hitter in 2,125 big league plate appearances. He’s not much of a defender, but the bat is useful.

Rob Brantly is the other catcher with major league experience here, but the vast majority of that was way back in 2012 and 2013. He’s really just another body in camp. Kellin Deglan and Max McDowell represent the other two minor league depth backstops in camp.

Now, for the fun part. The Yankees invited three noteworthy prospects: Austin Wells, Anthony Siegler, and Josh Breaux. Wells, last year’s first round draft choice, has yet to see any professional action. Siegler (2018 first round) and Breaux (2018 second round) certainly could use the reps after no game action last year too. We’ve yet to see Seigler do much in the minors, but he’s also had a hard time staying healthy. Meanwhile, Breaux broke out in 2019 in Charleston when he posted a 141 wRC+ and 13 homers in just 216 plate appearances.

DoTF: Siegler starts skirmish in Charleston loss

News and Notes

  • Anthony Siegler was at the heart of a brawl in Charleston when he took exception to an opposing player admiring a home run. On one hand, good to see him showing fight. On the other, ugh, come on. Josh Norris of Baseball America has video of one of Hickory players throwing a punch at Siegler and the ensuing dustup.
  • Transactions! OF Josh Stowers is off the IL for Charleston after 20 days on the shelf. OF Omar Carrizales was shifted up to High-A Tampa to make room
  • To make room for Carrizales, OF Tyler Hill was released. The 23-year-old outfielder was hitting .242/.313/.362 for Tampa. Hill came over from Boston in December’s Minor League Rule 5 Draft.
  • In injury news, SS Eduardo Torrealba was carted off with a knee injury in Charleston’s loss.

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (6-2 loss to Durham)

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Raynel Espinal: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 6/5 GB/FB — 64 of 100 pitches were strikes … Gave up a home run to former Yankee farmhand Nick Solak.
  • In Relief: RHP Joe Harvey: 1 IP, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Hitting Star: DH Logan Morrison: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R — Raised his average from .245 to .288 in two days
  • On Deck: 2B Breyvic Valera: 2-for-5
  • Notables: LF Clint Frazier went 0-for-4 with 3 Ks … RF Ryan McBroom and 3B Gosuke Katoh each went 2-for-4 … SS Tyler Wade went 1-for-5 while 1B Mike Ford went 0-for-5 … CF Mike Tauchman was 0-for-3 with a HBP.

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