Video: Gary Sanchez makes an 84.1 mph throw

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Gary Sanchez’s strongest asset may still be his bat, but he’s starting to look like a force behind the plate, too. During Friday night’s series opener against the visiting Rays, Sanchez posted a Michael Pineda fastball directly to second base to catch Corey Dickerson off the bag.

[mlbvideo id=”1152451783″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Defensive catching metrics have yet to be perfected, and Sanchez’s 22 cups of major league coffee are hardly enough to draw any substantial conclusions from. With that caveat, the 23-year-old sits sixth among major league catchers with four Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and fifth with three Stolen Base Runs Saved (rSB) in 187 innings at the dish.

A more pointed breakdown of Sanchez’s rocket to second base comes from MLB.com’s Daren Willman:

Sure, it’s still a few ticks down from the 87.8 m.p.h. bullets he was firing back in August, but he’s got more than enough speed to quell any sizable threat on the basepaths.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”