San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez has not been with the team very long, but Manny Machado and starting pitcher Blake Snell are already fans of him. Sanchez has made an impact in his short time with the Padres.
“He's a good fit,” Manny Machado said, via Dennis Lin of The Athletic. “You know, it's kind of tough for a catcher coming in here and picking up a staff like ours and doing what he's been doing on the offensive side as well. … Things are clicking right now as an offensive group, so adding him in there right now at the perfect time, it's been nice.”
Sanchez is with many of his teammates from when he played for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Machado is one of them, along with Juan Soto.
Blake Snell raved about Sanchez' catching ability, which has been a criticism dating back to his days with the New York Yankees.
“I've always heard about him offensively, but I love him,” Snell said, via Lin. “He blocked, like, a 97-mile-an-hour fastball in the dirt. I threw a curveball and it hit the grass and he blocked it. I mean, I don't see the problem. Even calling the game, we had a game plan; we executed. I even put a lot of trust in him, like, what do you want? Like, you tell me. … I trust him on that. He's smart.”
Sanchez was once a highly-touted young player for the Yankees, and had some very solid seasons with the team before some down years later in his tenure and getting traded to the Minnesota Twins for the 2022 season. Sanchez started the 2023 season in the minor leagues with the Giants, was released, then had a brief stint with the New York Mets. The Mets released him, then the Padres snagged him, and he is now contributing. His new teammates seem to be a fan as well.