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Yankees' top prospect benched for disciplinary reasons

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Gary Sanchez was held out of the Trenton Thunder lineup on Wednesday and again on Thursday, but it has nothing to do with rehabbing New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli being in town. Instead, Sanchez was benched for the final two games of a series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels for disciplinary reasons, and Thunder manager Tony Franklin indicated he could be held out for a few more games.

“Gary (Sanchez) is out of there for a couple of days until we decide he deserves to play again, plain and simple,” Franklin told reporters after Thursday’s 4-3 victory.

“It’s more to it than just playing,” Franklin added. “It’s conducting yourself like a professional at all times.”

For those who do not know, Tony Franklin always goes out of his way to defend his players. As former Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore pointed out on Twitter, Franklin even defended Jose Tabata years ago despite the outfielder leaving the ballpark in the middle of a game. The fact that Franklin said even as little as he did about Sanchez on the record indicates that whatever warranted discipline was a rather serious issue.

Franklin and the coaching staff had a closed-door meeting with Sanchez, the top prospect in the New York Yankees farm system, following Thursday’s game. As Trentonian beat writer Nick Peruffo tweeted, this is at least the second time that such a meeting has occurred this season.

With Francisco Cervelli headed to New Britain with the team for the weekend series to continue his rehab assignment, Franklin could decide that Sanchez will not return to the Thunder lineup until the team’s next homestand begins on Tuesday. If the incident was as serious as it appears to be, it is possible (though purely speculation) that Franklin’s closed door meeting could have been to inform Sanchez that he would not be going to New Britain with his teammates.

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