Jonathan Sanchez Experiment with Giants Needs to End

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 23, 2009

PHOENIX - JUNE 11:  Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on June 11, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 2-1.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Thanks to the MLB package on cable and a pretty light schedule in the major leagues, I watched Jonathan Sanchez pitch for the San Francisco Giants against the Oakland A’s last night. After painfully watching Sanchez for 5.1 IP last night, I have come to this conclusion—the Jonathan Sanchez experiment needs to come to a sudden end in San Francisco.

Sanchez has now been in the majors for four years, and the reality is, he is not good. In four years, Sanchez has a lifetime record of 15-26 with a 5.26 ERA and an absurd 172 walks, and opponents have a .359 OBP against him in 316.2 IP.

This while pitching in one of the most pitching-friendly ballparks in baseball, AT&T Park. Just terrible.

He started his career in the bullpen, and he stunk there. The Giants moved him into the starting rotation last year, and he has been equally as bad. He walks everyone—even the guys he doesn’t walk seem to have a 3-2 count—and watching him pitch is beyond frustrating.

So what exactly do the Giants see in Sanchez?

Here is what the Giants see in Sanchez: They see a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher who throws a fastball in the 90s and has struck out 316 batters in 316.2 IP. Sanchez is a classic case of a team looking at the “what could be” instead of the “what is.”

Note to the San Francisco Giants—the New York Mets saw the same thing in Oliver Perez.

That is who Sanchez reminds me of: Oliver Perez—a guy who has all the tools and who has struck out more than a batter per inning in his career (1,047 Ks in 1,021 IP).

The worst part about these pitchers is that every pitching coach, every manager, and every team thinks they can fix them.

But just like Perez, Sanchez can’t be fixed. He needs to be sent to the minors.

The Giants lost to the A’s last night 5-1, and Sanchez’s record fell to a disappointing 2-8.

The Giants have a legit chance to make the playoffs this year. Right now, Jonathan Sanchez is not helping those chances.


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