Yankees coach Tony Pena, a star catcher in his playing days, is adamant that catcher Gary Sanchez’ defense will get a lot better.

NEW YORK — Standing in the Yankees dugout Wednesday morning, first base coach Tony Pena was about to get busy when NJ Advance Media approached and threw out a simple question:

How often are you working with Gary Sanchez on his defense?

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“Every day, every single day,” answered Pena, who went to five All-Star Games and won four Gold Gloves during his 18 seasons as a big-league catcher from 1980-97.

When another question came his way, Pena proceeded to make a little time to pass along his two cents on Sanchez, whose first full season in the majors has included a lot of behind-the-plate issues along with his 30 homers and 83 RBIs in 89 games through Wednesday.

“There’s no question that Gary wants to get better, there’s no question he’s going to get better and there’s no question he’s going to be one of the frontline catchers in the future,” Pena said. “You watch.”

We’re watching, and it hasn’t been pretty this season. Sanchez’ arm is a weapon, but his 13 errors and 15 passed balls lead American League catchers and been in games for 47 wild pitches, more than all but two receivers in the majors.

Pena’s take on this?

“When you’re a catcher, you have to take out the first full year,” Pena said. “Look at Benito Santiago. His rookie year he had 22 passed balls, 22 errors, 45 wild pitches. His second year, he came back and he was ready to go.”

We checked Santiago’s stats to see if Pena was right, and he was almost dead on: 22 passed balls, 22 errors and 47 wild pitches.

And Santiago, …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time Sports

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