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Girardi shares catching wisdom with Sanchez

Yanks skipper talks defense with backstop after wild pitch
MLB.com @BryanHoch

CHICAGO -- A wild pitch that skipped past Gary Sanchez prompted a catching clinic in the visiting dugout at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday evening, as manager Joe Girardi said that he lectured the Yankees catcher on the finer points of blocking balls.

Television cameras spotted Girardi huddling with Sanchez during the top of the fourth inning in New York's 12-3 victory over the White Sox.

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CHICAGO -- A wild pitch that skipped past Gary Sanchez prompted a catching clinic in the visiting dugout at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday evening, as manager Joe Girardi said that he lectured the Yankees catcher on the finer points of blocking balls.

Television cameras spotted Girardi huddling with Sanchez during the top of the fourth inning in New York's 12-3 victory over the White Sox.

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"When I talked to Gary Sanchez, it was strictly about tricks about how to block balls, tricks that I learned over my time," Girardi said. "It had nothing to do with scolding him or saying, 'You've got to do this' or 'You've got to do that.' It had nothing to do with that."

First-base coach Tony Pena also participated in the speech, which came after Sanchez failed to block a Masahiro Tanaka splitter that allowed Jose Abreu to reach base on a third-inning strikeout. Girardi and Pena have a combined 33 years of big league catching experience between them.

Video: NYY@CWS: Coaches and players speak with Sanchez

"We talked a little bit about catching strategies and how you can use your weight, balance your weight on certain pitches," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "For example, the splitter, how you distribute your weight so it gives you an opportunity to block it."

Sanchez's six passed balls this season are tied for the second-most in the American League; only Josh Phegley of the Athletics has more (7).

"I've blocked a lot of them, but some of them have gotten away," Sanchez said. "You try everything you can to block them all, but you're not perfect so some of them are going to get away."

Girardi said that he has not had an issue with Sanchez's effort.

"He's young. I think sometimes people can get caught up in what he did last year and the expectations are off the charts for this young man," Girardi said. "He's really good at what he does, and he's going to get better. We're going to help him get better."

Girardi added that he did not have an issue with Sanchez in the fifth inning, when he did not run hard down the line on a double play grounder. Girardi said that Sanchez has been managing tightness in his groin since the Yankees' recent series at Oakland from June 15-18.

"It gets better every day," Sanchez said. "Joe told me to be smart running so that you don't get hurt again."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez