Sanchez has been continuing to develop a one-legged catching stance during the MLB hiatus, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports. Sanchez began working on the new stance during the early stages of camp in an effort to improve his pitch framing. With spring training suspended, players have mostly been left to train on their own. That hasn't stopped Sanchez from continuing to work on the stance, as he revealed in a video recently posted to his Instagram account.
Sanchez went 1-for-17 with seven strikeouts in Cactus League play. He also struggled behind the plate and was bothered by a sore back and a bout with the flu. While Sanchez remains the top power-hitting catcher in the game, his contact issues this spring serve as a stark reminder that he hit a paltry .232 with a 28 percent strikeout rate last season. His defensive issues can be partially attributed to a new catching stance that he experimented with throughout the spring, but Sanchez has always been a below-average defender behind the dish and has struggled blocking balls in the dirt throughout his career. Still, his ability to hit balls out of the yard will keep Sanchez in the heart of the potent Yankee lineup on a regular basis, and the delay to the start of the regular season leaves no question about his availability for Opening Day.
General manager Brian Cashman said Friday that Sanchez has "improved" since being diagnosed with the flu Tuesday, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Sanchez was hampered by lower-back tightness early in spring training and was later diagnosed with the flu Tuesday. Although all spring training activities have been suspended for the foreseeable future, Sanchez's improved physical state could allow him to ramp up baseball activities in the coming days, wherever he may decide to do so. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported earlier Friday that the majority of Yankees players plan on continuing informal workouts at the team's Tampa facility, so Sanchez could decide to do the same when he feels healthy enough.
Sanchez (back) tested positive for the flu Tuesday, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports. Sanchez was scheduled to take part in catching drills and batting practice this week before returning to game action Friday, but the illness will set him back a few days.
Sanchez (back) missed his scheduled batting practice Tuesday due to a fever, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports. It initially appeared as though Sanchez's back was still bothering him when his hitting session was canceled, but he's evidently dealing with an unrelated issue. He was previously expected to return to game action Friday, but the loss of another day or two due to illness will probably push that back by a few days.