Boone On WFAN: Wants Sanchez-Cole Duo To Be An 'Elite Machine'

Joins 'Moose And Maggie' Live From Spring Training

Moose & Maggie
March 03, 2020 - 2:17 pm

The start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season is inching close and closer.

Live from Yankees camp, WFAN's Maggie Gray and Marc Malusis sat down with Yankees manager Aaron Boone to discuss the upcoming season, Gerrit Cole and Gary Sanchez's connection, the emergence of Gleyber Torres as the team's everyday shortstop, Clint Frazier's improvements, etc.

The team made a splash this offseason signing free-agent superstar pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract, the largest ever for a pitcher. Last season, Cole, 29, went 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and MLB-leading 326 strikeouts, finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting.

Especially early on in the season, it will be crucial to see the connection between the team's new star ace pitcher and catcher Gary Sanchez. 

"I want it to get to the point where it's an elite machine," Boone said when describing Cole and Sanchez. "I already feel good about it. The progress they've made already ... the communication, what guys are looking for. Gary understanding what Gerrit needs from him. That understanding is happening. So far, so good, but it needs to keep hopefully getting better all year and five years from now hopefully it evolves to an even greater point."

Gleyber Torres was one of the rising stars for the Yankees last season, hitting .278 with 38 home runs and 90 runs batted in. With Didi Gregorius signing with the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason, Torres will be looked upon to be the Yankees' starting shortstop.

"I think it's now proving that he can play it every day at the big-league level playing shortstop every day. He's obviously proven himself in every which way and everything we've thrown at him in his career, he's essentially going home to shortstop. I feel like in the first couple months, when he was filling in for Didi last year, I felt he did really well there. The biggest thing for Gleyber is consistency. I'm confident he has the skillset to make the plays necessary to be a good major league shortstop."

Outfielder Clint Frazier caught much attention for his fielding woes last season. Last June, Frazier suffered arguably his worst night in right field. He allowed an errant ball to pass him, costing a run. The redheaded outfielder also misplayed a handful of fly balls and line drives. 

"One of the things that gets lost a litle bit with Clint last year were some of the good stretches he did have defensively and the athlete he is," Boone said. "Runs really well, has really good throwing arm, works really hard at it. Has had some highly noted mishaps out there that have driven the narrative around him. That said, I think he's another step better this year. His work has been excellent. I feel like his professionalism this year has gone to another level, the way he has approached his backfield at bats off live pitching, the way he's worked in the outfield. I do feel like Clint's off to a great start. I'm excited where he's at."