Chase Utley likely won't be the only veteran second baseman who isn't ready for opening day.
Freddy Sanchez looks increasingly doubtful for the San Francisco Giants' season opener, as he hasn't played second base during spring training while continuing to recover from shoulder surgery. Sanchez had a torn labrum repaired last August. He dislocated the shoulder while diving for a ball in June.
As the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman reports, Sanchez says he feels no pain in his right shoulder, but building strength to throw has been the issue. Giants manager hasn't liked how Sanchez looks throwing the ball, especially when turning the double play and throwing across his body.
Until Sanchez makes it through infield drills to Bochy's satisfaction, he won't be seeing the field. And with two weeks to go before the regular season, it's more likely that Sanchez will begin the season on the disabled list.
While Sanchez admitted he's felt pain in other areas of his right arm—probably as a result of compensating for his injured shoulder—he doesn't yet feel comfortable letting it rip with a hard throw to first base. Only Sanchez knows how strong his shoulder is at this point. But it also sounds as if he could possibly be dealing with a bit of a mental block as well.
This isn't the first time Sanchez has injured his right shoulder. He's hurt himself in that area several times throughout his major league career. Perhaps those assorted injuries have caught up with him and it's preventing him from building strength in the shoulder. Or maybe he's hurt that shoulder so often that he's afraid of doing it again.
Whatever the reason, something obviously isn't right. Sanchez had surgery seven months ago and was expected to be fully recovered by now.
In the meantime, the Giants have plenty of players available to man second base in Sanchez's absence. Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot both provide a veteran replacement if that's the way Bochy chooses to go. But Theriot is hitting .200 this spring and Fontenot hasn't played much.
Emmanuel Burriss looks like the favorite for the job at the moment, batting .441 (15-for-34) in Cactus League play. He could be a far more exciting addition to the Giants' lineup.
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