Monday, May 6, 2013

Demoting Hector Sanchez clearly the right move for Giants

I really need to start writing these posts when the ideas pop into my head. If I had, maybe I'd have beaten the Giants to the punch when they sent Hector Sanchez down to Fresno. Luckily, I use Twitter as an extension of my brain's thoughts. Unlike my brain, Twitter comes with a time and date stamp:

But in all seriousness, "Hacktor" as he was beginning to be called, had to go.

You don't ask for a ton out of your backup catchers, you really don't. You're expected to catch once a week, hit .225, and play good defense. Sometimes, give the team a good AB in a pinch hit role. The Giants just weren't getting that out of Sanchy, and this team needed more than they were getting.

Sanchez started 48 games behind the dish in 2012-- primarily serving as Tim Lincecum's battered battery mate. He served a purpose, spelling Buster from the abuse once a week. But there was something about Sanchez's general lame performance in particular that seemed to go unnoticed by most fans-- including your's truly.

How his lack of production, and shaky defense managed to stay out from under the microscope as much as it did is just beyond me.But it did.

I guess you see the numbers and just don't think much of them, because "Oh he's a backup" and "Oh he'll get it going eventually". But... he never has.

Wanna hear my theory? I think Sanchez escaped the scrutiny that so many other Giants' players receive because he DID catch Lincecum in nearly every start. If Lincecum is starting, no one is paying attention to the guy in the mask trying to block balls in the dirt. Furthermore, when Lincecum, the spectacle that he is, started to give up his inevitable runs as he did in 2012, that was the story-- not your young backup catcher taking bad situational at bats. Nice distraction huh?

This isn't meant to be a piece tearing down a young player or ripping a guy beyond recognition, it's simply a long overdue acknowledgement of poor performance.

Look, Hector Sanchez has talent. He's only 23 years old, he's a switch hitter, and he does have some potential with the bat. We've seen small, random flashes of it from him, but they were just too few and far between.

It's unfortunate for Sanchy, because he was probably promoted too soon in retrospect. He clearly needs to play every day and get regular at bats, and it just isn't going to happen with the Giants... period. His best hope in all honesty is to take this kick in the ass of a demotion, work hard in AAA and become a desirable trade piece for the Giants in July for a team looking for young catching capable of playing for cheap in the majors.

He has his work cut out for him, because everything but his batting average was just plain mediocre. Somehow he managed to carve out a .280 average last year, which is clearly good, but sometimes average doesn't tell the story.

In 227 plate appearances last year, Hacktor managed only 18 extra base hits (3 HR, 15 2B), and struck out a crazy 52 times compared to only 5 walks. Yes, 52:5 ratio. It all adds up to a .685 OPS, which is just plain lame for anyone, let alone a guy somehow pumped up to be more. His slow start this year was just kind of the last straw.

With the emergence of Guillermo Quiroz, whom I lovingly refer to as "Quiznos", Sanchez has become expendable in more ways than one.

And how can you not love Quiznos? That walkoff HR against LA was just amazing, and his interview with Amy G afterward was just beyond endearing (I know, I know, I'm getting soft). But seriously...

"I get here early every day... I work hard. I do my weights. I my hitting... just ready for that opportunity, and try to take advantage of it any way I can. I feel humble to be here." -- Quiznos

Now THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a class act, and a guy I want on my team.

He's obviously well-liked, and he obviously cares more than a lot of the guys in the league that have infinitely more ability. It's a good story, and it will buy him a lot of good will from Giants fans-- even if he only hits that .225 and plays once a week expected a backup catcher.

Hey, in the end Quiznos is better than Subway anyway...

1 comment:

  1. Great points Dan. I fell for the "Mini Panda' hype as well, but not getting daily AB's is hurting his production for the future. I hope he smashes in Fresno and we can use him as a trading chip in the future. Great post man.