Yankees re-release the Kraken in monster comeback year


The Kraken is back

Gary Sanchez

In a season that has seen the New York Yankees lose many of their big bats to injury, the resurgence of Gary Sanchez couldn’t have been better-timed.

Indeed, as of early June, the Bombers’ 26-year-old catcher was enjoying a Renaissance year in The Bronx, sporting a .267 average with an American League-leading 18 home runs, 35 RBIs, a .341 on-base percentage and a stellar .994 OPS while helping the Yanks to a first-place standing in the AL East. That’s a far cry from the down year he had last year, when he homered 18 times over the entire season while hitting only .186.

Of course, there were very good explanations for Sanchez’s 2018 dropoff. He did two stints on the injured list for a groin strain that hampered his catching and running, and he played much of the year with a shoulder injury that affected his throwing and swinging and ultimately required offseason surgery.

Now healthy, the 6-feet-2-inch, 230-pound hulk known as “the Kraken” is looking like the All-Star version of 2017, when his 33 homers shattered the Yankee record for catchers set by Yogi Berra and Jorge Posada and his cannon-like arm shut down opposing base stealers. He credits his success this year to swinging at strikes, not giving up at-bats and, of course, health. His teammates marvel at the return of his monstrous power.

Saturday, June 29, Sanchez and the Yankees take a trip across the pond to England, where they’ll open a two-game series against the archrival Boston Red Sox at London Stadium in a game airing on Fox.


Gary Sanchez

Name: Gary Sanchez

Birth date: Dec. 2, 1992

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches/230 pounds

Teams: New York Yankees (2015-present)

Position: Catcher

Bats/throws: Right/right

No.: 24

Honors and achievements: AL All-Star (2017), Silver Slugger Award (2017); finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting (2016)

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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For the record, the Kraken was Norse, so “Clash of the Titans” was in reality a clash of mythologies.

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