TAMPA, Fla. -- Gary Sanchez's historic home run barrage taught opposing teams to pitch carefully when he is at the plate, and now the Yankees' catcher is reminding baserunners not to sleep on his strong arm.Sanchez caught two runners attempting to steal second base in the third inning of New
TAMPA, Fla. -- Gary Sanchez's historic home run barrage taught opposing teams to pitch carefully when he is at the plate, and now the Yankees' catcher is reminding baserunners not to sleep on his strong arm.
Sanchez caught two runners attempting to steal second base in the third inning of New York's 7-2 Grapefruit League victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field, nailing Jon Berti and Ezequiel Carrera by healthy margins.
"I don't know why they run," said Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro, with a laugh. "It's unbelievable. They're getting good jumps, all of them are getting good jumps, and they're getting out by two feet. It's pretty awesome."
Castro said that he believes Sanchez has the best throwing arm of any catcher he has seen, comparing Sanchez's arm to that of the Cardinals' Yadier Molina.
That's good company to be keeping, and Sanchez said that he gets the same rush out of throwing out a runner as he would from hitting a big home run.
"It's kind of feeling the same thing because you're helping the team, you're helping the pitcher at that time and it's exciting," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "When a runner is on first base, you have to be ready for anything. If they try to steal, my job is to throw to second base to try to get them out."
Sanchez caught 41 percent (13-for-32) of runners stealing in his 36 big league games behind the plate last season, and manager Joe Girardi said that the Yankees have an advantage when Sanchez is catching.
"He can throw," Girardi said. "His arm strength is special. It's great. It changes the complexion of a game. Pitchers don't have to worry as much in a sense. They still have to do their job and give [Sanchez] a chance, but these aren't arms that you see every day."
Castro said the Blue Jays' runners didn't have anything to say after their unsuccessful attempts, not that there was much to add.
"They know they're out by a lot," he said. "They're just running back to the dugout. Not even close."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.