Time Is Now for Freddy Sanchez
Ever since the Giants traded for him in late July last summer, second basemen Freddy Sanchez has spent more time on the DL than on the field. Sanchez showed up in the Giants lineup for the first time in 2010 Wednesday, and hopefully he's here to stay.
Sanchez took an 0-4 in his first game back, but got his bat going in Thursday's game with a 2-3 night with a run scored and an RBI. The spotlight is really going to be on Sanchez now and he's going to have to stay healthy from here on out if he wants to remain in the good graces of Giants' fans. He showed the kind of value he can provide for this lineup on Thursday, and with the top of the Giants lineup performing inconsistently he's going to have to do his part in trying to solidify it. In order to make room for Sanchez, the Giants sent Eugenio Velez down to Fresno, choosing to keep Matt Downs and Ryan Rohlinger on the 25-man roster instead, and there may be another move here on the horrizon. The prospect of bringing Buster Posey up from Fresno has been bandied about a bit in the papers and Giants websites over the last week. Posey is hitting .340 down in Fresno with 5 homers and 27 RBI and the Giants may consider moving Aubrey Huff to left field in order to get Posey some at-bats. Andres Torres has done a respectable job in DeRosa's place, but Posey's play is really forcing the issue. I think the Giants are trying to hold off on bringing Posey up until June 1st, but with interleague play coming up, they may feel the need for another bat before then.
It wasn't the Giants offense that cost them in Thursday's game. Tim Lincecum had his worst start of the season, as it seemed like he was stuck in the stretch %80 of the time. He struggled through just 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks. The bullpen wasn't very good in his relief yesterday either. All 4 relievers used after Lineceum allowed multiple baserunners and none of them had routine outings. Over the last 3 games, the Giants pitching staff has been touched up for 27 runs and they simply do not have the offense to keep up with that kind of output. There could be a change in the rotation soon though, as there has been talk of calling up Eric Hacker, who's been absolutely dealing in Fresno, to take the place of the struggling Todd Wellemeyer. Madison Bumgarner has also settled down a bit recently too, but I think the Giants plan to keep him in the minors until around mid-season.
Up Next, the Giants start interleague play with a 3-game set against the A's. I'm looking forward to seeing how Barry Zito does against the A's, as he's finally found his groove in San Francisco. Zito's been roughed up repeatedly by his former squad since he crossed the bay, but he has never faced the A's in the kind of rhythm that he's been in here early on in 2010.