Results tagged ‘ Freddy Sanchez ’

Giants spring injury update

The Giants received some encouraging news on some of their ailing or rehabbing stars. We may see all (or at least most) of the Giants in a spring training game by the end of the week.

BUSTER POSEY: Posey really wanted to be ready to for last Saturday’s spring opener. He was close, but the Giants took the conservative road and held him out. Manager Bruce Bochy said Monday that Posey worked on his running and sliding on Monday. He is scheduled to start running full speed on the bases Tuesday to make sure his surgically-repaired ankle can hold up to making turns on the bases. If everything goes well, Posey could make his spring debut as a DH on Friday against the Reds. Bochy said he could even catch an inning or two.

FREDDY SANCHEZ: The second baseman coming off shoulder surgery may have already been in games as a DH if he did suffer back spasms early last week. That spring debut could come Thursday or Friday for Sanchez. Bochy said he’s not ready to get Sanchez in the game as a second baseman, but he’s more willing to get his bat into game situations.

BRIAN WILSON: The Beard pronounced himself ready to go after throwing batting practice on Sunday. Bochy said Wilson will make his spring debut on Sunday, after throwing another BP session on Wednesday. Wilson is recovering from elbow inflammation that cost him most of the final two months of 2011.

DAN RUNZLER: Runzler was sent to see Dr. James Andrews for a consultation on his strained shoulder on Sunday. We haven’t heard anything since. And in this case, no news is bad news. A lat strain could sideline Runzler six weeks. He needed a strong spring to make the roster. That won’t happen now.

Morning report 3/1: Freddy is getting ready

There was more good news to report on the injury rehab front Wednesday as Freddy Sanchez returned to the field after a back flareup Monday caused to curtail his work.

The Giants second baseman even made throws to first base, the first time he’s thrown to a base since his shoulder surgery last August.

Manager Bruce Bochy said it’s time to “pick up the pace” on Sanchez’s return from his shoulder injury to get him ready for the season opener. The plan right now is to get Sanchez into games by the second full week in March, either at second base or as a designated hitter.

While both Bochy and Sanchez said there’s plenty of time for the second baseman to get ready, Sanchez admitted to being antsy about returning to the field after his minor setback on Monday.

For more on Sanchez’s day, check out CSNBayArea.com.

THIS AND THAT

  • BUSTER POSEY: Bochy said that Buster Posey won’t start Saturday’s spring training opener against Arizona, adding that he would not catch. But then he backpedaled, saying that he might get an inning behind the plate. Posey could also DH, often employed during spring training even by NL clubs.
  • CLAY HENSLEY: CSNBayArea.com’s Andrew Baggarly had a nice piece on pitcher Clay Hensley and his perspective on the play that ended Buster Posey’s season last May. Hensley was a member of the Florida Marlins. To see the report click here.

Out goes Freddy Sanchez; in comes Bill Hall

Somehow, this has got to be some kind of weird retribution for last season.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Paul Janish, right, jumps over San Francisco Giants' Bill Hall (29) during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 11, 2011, in San Francisco. Hall was forced out at second base, as Giants' Emmanuel Burriss was safe at first base. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Of the eight positions players on the Giants’ opening day roster, five have made a trip to the disabled list this season: 1B Brandon Belt, 2B Freddy Sanchez, 3B Pablo Sandoval, C Buster Posey and CF Andres Torres. And that doesn’t count RF Cody Ross, who opened the season on the DL.

The other three players — RF Aubrey Huff, SS Miguel Tejada and LF Pat Burrell — are hitting .234, .227 and .221 respectively.

Ross eventually came off the DL, and so did Torres. Sandoval will come off on Tuesday. Belt won’t be back until after the All-Star break. Posey is done of the season, and we just news on Sanchez.

Not good.

An MRI revealed that there is damage to Sanchez’s labrum and the shoulder capsule is stretched, making it susceptible to repeated dislocations.

The plan right now is to see how Sanchez’s shoulder responds to rehab over the next few weeks and hope he can return this season. Surgery to strengthen the shoulder will be necessary, but the Giants would like to hold it off until after the season.

We consider that a longshot. It may just be best to consider surgery as quickly as possible to begin rehab for 2012. That’s because the Giants signed Sanchez to a one-year extension for 2012 at the start of this season.

After the Giants’ 4-2 win over the Reds on Sunday, they activated 3B Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list and optioned Connor Gillaspie back to Fresno. We expected as much.

For depth, the Giants added utility man Bill Hall on Saturday. But he’s likely not going to be the answer.

At one point, Hall was a promising hitter for the Brewers. He hit 17 HRs, 62 RBI and hit .291 in 146 games in 2005. It got better in 2006 — 35 HR, 85 RBI, .270 in 148 games.

And then things turned downward — 14/63/.254 in 2007; 15/55/.225 in 2008.

In 2009, he hit .201 with 6 HR and 24 RBI in 76 games when the Brewers traded him to the Mariners, where he hit .200 with 2 HR and 12 RBI in 34 games.

The Mariners traded him to the Red Sox, where he hit .247 with 18 HR and 46 RBI in 120 games.

He signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, but only hit .224 with 2 HR and 13 RBI in 46 games before being released on June 4.

Oh, and what he did in his first game with the Giants on Saturday is pretty much his M.O. — he strikes out about once every three times he steps to the plate.

Another close win, with another loss — Freddy Sanchez

San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez, center, is helped off the field by a trainer and Bruce Bochy, right, after being injured fielding a base hit by Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips in the fifth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Friday, June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

And the hits just keeping on coming.

Fortunately, so do the walk-off wins.

Just as there appeared to be a little bit of light at the end of the injury tunnel, things got dark again when Freddy Sanchez left Friday’s game with a dislocated shoulder.

The injury didn’t keep the Giants from getting their ninth walk-off win of the season on Nate Schierholtz’s game-winning single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Giants a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

But the excitement of the win was sobered some by the injury to Sanchez.

Sanchez hurt his shoulder while making a diving stop of a groundball up the middle. He left the game in clear pain and was later taken to the hospital for treatment, after Giants trainers popped the shoulder back in place.

Now, we wait for an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the injury.

If accurate, the initial diagnosis for a dislocated shoulder is better than a separated shoulder. A separated shoulder involves a tear of the ligament that holds the shoulder in place. It would require a six-week minimum of recovery time, and likely would require surgery.

With a dislocated shoulder, you’re looking at a recovery time of 3 to 12 weeks, depending on the severity.

In the meantime, the Giants have to consider their next roster move, assuming Sanchez is headed to the DL.

Infielders Mike Fontenot and Pablo Sandoval are on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno. Both were expected to rejoin the Giants on Tuesday, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy did not expect either to return any sooner. Fontenot, in fact, may have suffered a setback with his groin injury on Friday.

The first option is to do nothing and wait for Sandoval to rejoin the team on Tuesday in Arizona. With the Giants playing an afternoon game Saturday and with Fresno playing in Salt Lake City, there’s little chance of getting a replacement player in town ready to play Saturday. So we’re really only talking about playing shorthanded one more game on Sunday.

This is the most likely option. Sandoval would then take over a third base on his return, with Burriss taking over at second base until Fontenot returns. We could even see Miguel Tejada at second base, particularly if he continues his recent hot streak. Fontenot’s return from the DL likely would result in Connor Gillaspie returning to Triple-A.

But there’s another option. On Friday, Bochy mentioned that the Giants have not discounted the possibility of Sandoval playing catcher on occassion — saying that he would only make two starts a week at most under that scenario. That option would lead to Chris Stewart being sent back to Fresno.

And the Giants could also consider calling up Brett Pill from Fresno. Pill has gotten off to a fast start at Triple-A, playing both 1B and 2B. At this point, the Giants have no sub for Aubrey Huff at first base, with Sandoval becoming the first backup option at 1B when he returns. But calling up Pill would require the Giants to make a move to open a spot on the 40-man roster. That could be created by sending Buster Posey to the 60-day DL.

Interesting to see which way the Giants go.

You heard it here first: Freddy Sanchez is hot

Phew!

Well, that felt good.

After two frustrating losses to the Dodgers, the Giants finally broke into the win column in 2011 with a 10-0 win on Saturday.

Apparently, the Giants read MoreSplashHits most recent post in which we detailed how the Giants have struggled to score runs without hitting a home run going all the way back to the World Series.

Well, on Saturday, the Giants scored 10 runs and nine of those runs scored without a home run.

The Giants drew walks, slapped hits, got runners over and got them in.

If there’s anything that we can be critical about the Giants on Saturday, it’s that they scored 10 runs when they only needed one.

Too bad we can’t get a little run equity.

The Giants only needed one run because Matt Cain was again brilliant, shutting out the Dodgers over six stellar innings. Cain could have gone farther, having throw 87 pitches through six innings. But with the Giants up 8-0, there was no point.

Freddy Sanchez was the star of the game. Hmm, somewhere I read about how Sanchez was swinging the bat better than any Giant in the early going. Can anyone remember where I read that?

Anyway, Sanchez went 3 for 4 with walk, double and the Giants’ lone home run. He also scored two runs and drove in three.

Miguel Tejada, starting in the leadoff spot for the first time in 12 years, went 2 for 5 with two runs and two RBI.

Mark DeRosa, making his first start of the year, went 2 for 5 with two runs, two RBI and a double.

Even Aaron Rowand had a solid game, going 2 for 5.

It was a great day all around, and Bruce Bochy was able to get all 13 position players on the roster into the game and at least one at-bat.

Now, the Giants look to get the split on Sunday night. Remember, the mantra: “Win series at home; play .500 on the road.” A 2-2 open series in L.A. would be a good series.

The Giants send Barry Zito to the mound, just a few days after he was involved in a late-night auto accident. 

Relax Giants fans: Freak is Freaky again

Well, that was more like it.

After getting smacked around some in his first spring start, Tim Lincecum threw three hitless innings on Tuesday as the Giants lost 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs.

“My location was better and I was mixing my pitches in and out,” Lincecum said. “I didn’t throw too many off-speed pitches. My rhythm felt quick the first two innings, and then I was able to calm it down in the third.”

Here are some other highlights:

MAD BUMMER: Madison Bumgarner followed Lincecum to the mound. He started with two more scoreless innings. But in his third inning, he gave up a run and left two runners on base when he was relieved by Dan Runzler. Runzler gave a two-run double to Aramis Ramirez with both runs being charged to Bumgarner.

MORE PANDA: Pablo Sandoval had two doubles in three RBI. Being patient at the plate paid off for Sandoval on Tuesday. He worked the count to 2-0 on Ryan Dempster in his first AB. Then went to left-center for a run-scoring double. Against Todd Wellemeyer, Sandoval took a 1-1 pitch and hit it 430 feet to center. That wasn’t enough to get it out of the park and it resulted in another double.  Sandoval is 6 for 13 with two HRs, two doubles and five RBI this spring.

FREDDY SANCHEZ: Making his first spring starting, Sanchez went 0 for 3. But it included a liner out to first in his first at-bat. It’s good to see Freddy playing games on March 1. Barring any setbacks, he’ll be ready for opening day. More interesting about this debut was that Sanchez was at the leadoff spot. Andres Torres sat out again with a sore side. Aaron Rowand also was in the starting lineup, but Rowand was batting No. 8. Hopefully this is a sign that Bruce Bochy is done putting Rowand in the leadoff spot, even on days when Torres is not in the lineup. We hope.

2011 New Year’s Resolution: Freddy Sanchez, work on bunting

freddy.jpgAt first glance at the stats, it may look like Freddy Sanchez is an adequate bunter.

Last season, Sanchez had eight sacrifice hits, tying a career high. He ranked sixth among non-pitchers in the NL for sacrifices. He had an 89 percent success rate on his sacrifice attempts, also a career best.

However, this success rate stat only includes bunts in play that did not advance the runner or bunt strikeouts. It does not include ABs in which a batter failed to get a bunt down early in the count, then later swung away.

There is not stat that we found for failing to bunt early, then swinging away. And MoreSplashHits can remember several ABs from Sanchez that went exactly like that, particularly in the postseason.

Sanchez led the Giants in SHs with eight. However, the Padres — attempt with similar offensive deficiencies as the Giants — had three hitters with seven or more SHs last season, led by David Eckstein’s 12.

When he was with the Pirates, Sanchez was often the team’s leading hitter and not asked to sacrifice much, only once attempting more than six. But as the Giants’ No. 2 hitter, he has been, and will be, asked to advance the runner with a bunt.

Sanchez knows how to handle a bat, evidenced by his success rate of advancing runners when he wasn’t bunting.

Last season, he made a productive out in 43 percent of his opportunities, well above the MLB average of 33 percent. He successfully got a runner home from third with less than two outs 63 percent of the time (MLB avg. 51 percent). He advanced a runner from second with no outs 49 percent of the time (MLB avg. 43 percent).

So Freddy, work on your bunting this spring. That is your resolution.

Sanchez begins rehab assignment

Second baseman Freddy Sanchez began his rehabilitation assignment at Class A San Jose by going 2 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI on Tuesday.

Sanchez, who has been battling shoulder and knee problems, grounded out and field out in his first two at-bats before hitting back-to-back doubles.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy was encouraged by Sanchez’s start, but it looks as if he’s not making any predictions on when Sanchez will be with the big club. The last time he did that, we all thought Sanchez would be in the starting lineup Tuesday against the Padres.

So if Bochy won’t predict, More Splash Hits will. We would expect Sanchez back with the Giants on May 21 when the Giants open a series at Oakland, or May 25 when they open a homestand against the Nationals.

Giant notes: Zito’s outing bad, not that bad

At first glance, Barry Zito’s outing Thursday looked like another hair-pulling, aggravating Zito-esque outing — five runs on seven hits on 74 pitches over three innings.

But there are two things to remember: One, it’s still preseason, so it doesn’t count; Two, Zito was very close to giving up just one run on Thursday.

That’s kind of Zito’s M.O. — he walks along a fine line between quality start and implosion.

Let’s take a close look at Zito’s three innings on Thursday.

In the first inning, things started out well enough, as Zito set down the first two batters he faced. But things began to go bad the way they usually do with Zito, with a two-out walk. Kevin Kouzmanoff followed with an RBI double off the right field wall. But then it looked like Zito would get out of the inning after going 0-2 on Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki turned on a Zito fastball, and ripped it foul down the left-field line. Zito tried to come inside again off the plate, presumably to set up a 1-2 curveball. But it caught too much of the plate and Suzuki yanked it out for a 3-0 lead.

Zito set down the side in order in the second.

Zito gave up two more runs in the third, but the first run was on Zito and the second should have been charged to manager Bruce Bochy.

Coco Crisp led off with a double to left. Zito tried to pick him off second (why???) and threw it away, sending Crisp to third.

Then Bochy decided it best to play the infield in with a runner on third and no one out. The brilliant strategy allowed Rajai Davis to reach on a bloop single that would have been caught by 2B Juan Uribe if he were playing at his normal position.

Davis then stole second and took third on the first out of the inning. With a runner on third and one out, Bochy again played the infield in and Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to left on a ground ball that would have a ground out to short if the infield were playing back.

The A’s got two more hits in the inning on balls that were not hit out of the infield before Zito escaped with no more damage.

So basically in the third, Zito gave up a clean double to Crisp and four singles on balls that all should have been outs.

LEWIS DL-BOUND? Fred Lewis appears headed for the DL to start the season with a rib injury that his limiting to little more than running work.

Lewis hit off a tee Thursday and reported he’ll need more time to get ready to play.

Bochy said the Giants wouldn’t push Lewis and would know more on his status in a couple of days.

Well, we’d hope so since the Giants face at 6 p.m. deadline Saturday to set their 25-man roster for the 2010 season.

Lewis said the injury is keeping him from taking full hacks at the ball, which isn’t a lot different from when he’s healthy.

And speaking of Lewis, check out this blog post by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle on Lewis and his OBP. There’s been a lot of chatter about how the Giants must keep and play Lewis because his OBP was about 100 points higher than his batting average.

We think Giant fans are just starved for ANYONE in the lineup who can show some plate discipline. But, as Schulman shows, Lewis gets his high walk total by striking out WAY TO MUCH (particularly on called third strikes), not to mention his struggles in the field. Great post Hank.

SANCHEZ DELAYED: Bochy said that 2B Freddy Sanchez won’t be ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment for another 3-4 weeks. That effectively takes Sanchez out of the Giants lineup until May at the earliest. Ugh.

Good thing we’ve got Juan Uribe.

You know, More Splash Hits, often sits around with bags of ice on his various aches and pains. You think maybe Brian Sabean would be willing to give us a few million to do that?

Freddy Sanchez will miss first month of season

So after a winter of mystery and a spring of veiled projections, the Giants finally came out with a timetable on the return of second baseman Freddy Sanchez.

And it’s not great.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury News that Sanchez’s first appearance with the Giants is “looking like the end of April or first of May.”

Bochy insisted that Sanchez has not been dealt a setback, and we guess we can believe that since the Giants NEVER really said when Sanchez would be ready for the season.

Currently, Sanchez has graduated from hitting off a tee to taking soft-toss batting practice. But with the month moving into its latter stages, it is looking more likely that Sanchez won’t be able to get into a Cactus League game this spring.

So, until Sanchez is ready, the Giants will turn to Juan Uribe at second base. So the good news is the Giants get Uribe’s bat into the lineup early. Uribe was one of the Giants’ better run producers last season, although he’s scuffled a bit this spring.

Bochy appears to be leaning of using Edgar Renteria in the No. 2 hole while Sanchez is mending. That likely will produce a lineup that looks like this:

CF Aaron Rowand (RH)
SS Edgar Renteria (RH)
3B Pablo Sandoval (SH)
1B Aubrey Huff (LH)
LF Mark DeRosa (RH)
C Bengie Molina (RH)
2B Juan Uribe (RH)
RF Nate Schierholtz (LH)

Now, when More Splash Hits first heard this before the start of spring training, we cringed. After watching Renteria struggle last season, we were convinced the Giants would be better with the following lineup:

CF Aaron Rowand
LF Mark DeRosa
3B Pablo Sandoval
1B Aubrey Huff
2B Juan Uribe
C Bengie Molina
LF Nate Schierholtz
SS Edgar Renteria

MSH is still not convinced that this lineup wouldn’t be the better one. But after watching Renteria play Saturday against the Reds, we’re less worried about having Renteria in the No. 2 hole.

Renteria’s procedure last winter to remove bone chips in his elbow seems to have paid off. On Saturday, Renteria pulled on an inside pitch and spanked it over the left-field fence. Later, he turned on another inside pitch and hit it just foul down the left-field line. So clearly he’s doing things this spring that he wasn’t able to do last season. Still, MSH would prefer to see him do those same things in the regular season before automatically putting him in the No. 2 hole.

Bochy said he remains open to other lineup options.

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