Gary Sanchez loses starting Yankees job amid brutal stretch

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BALTIMORE — A horrid stretch at the plate has finally cost Gary Sanchez his starting job.

The catcher wasn’t in Tuesday’s lineup against the Baltimore Orioles and Aaron Boone said Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka will be a “day by day thing.”

“[Higashioka has] just earned more playing time,” Boone said before the game at Camden Yards. “Simple as that.”

Not exactly. While Higashioka has played well, the decision is also a result of Sanchez’s continued struggles at the plate.

Sanchez is in the midst of a nine-game stretch in which he’s 2-for-28 with 10 strikeouts — and just as tellingly, no extra-base hits.

Coming off a brutal 2020 season, Sanchez showed flashes of power during spring training and homered in each of the Yankees’ first two games of the regular season.

But he’s hit nothing but singles since a double on April 7 and been dropped to eighth in the lineup in three of the last four games he’s started.

Sanchez complained in the offseason in an interview with ESPN that he wasn’t told why he lost his starting job in the playoffs. On Tuesday, Boone said he talked with Sanchez about the fact he’d be playing less.

“I’ve talked to Gary, yeah,” Boone said. “We’ll go day-by-day. Obviously, they’re both gonna play a lot. It’ll be a day-by-thing that I’ll try to communicate as best I can.”

The communication continued Tuesday and Boone said the talk with Sanchez “went all right.”

“Obviously, he wants in the lineup,” Boone said. “But certainly, [he] understands [Higashioka] has earned some more things, as well.”

It takes the Yankees back to where they were in the playoffs, when Sanchez first lost his hold on the starting job, and takes him even further away from the early part of his career, when he looked like he was going to be a historically strong offensive catcher.

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