The truth is, I feel bad for Jonathan Sanchez.
The dude didn’t get the fairest of shakes from the Giants. His development was never really the same with the jimmy-jack from starting to relieving to back to starting. And as talented as he was, you never really knew if his problems with control stemmed from that at all.
But, at the end of the day, he was a pitcher who had poor control on even the best days. And he was the kind of pitcher who was very emotional. If everything was right, he could be great. He was only an error away from a perfect game, remember? But when it went wrong, boy could it go wrong.
And without meaning to directly insult the Royals, him getting traded to the Royals was every shade of wrong, for him. From a contender to the midwest and a team that hasn’t contended since the 1980′s. And while the 2011 Jonathan Sanchez that started for the Giants was only the 5th best starter in the rotation, he’d have been a surefire starter in most other rotations.
Whatever happened to him in Kansas City brought out the worst in him. Maybe it did to him what being traded from New York did to Melky. Melky spent a year of being putrid. I mean, he was bad in New York a few years, but he was putrid in Atlanta. And Atlanta DFA’d him.
Sanchez is only 29. He turns 30 in the offseason. He’s got time for a Vogel-ssance. I don’t know if relieving would do it…walking batters is usually a magnified problem in the bullpen.
I will say this: I don’t think a return to San Francisco will help him. Sanchez needs to reinvent himself. He needs to work on his control, of course, but he needs to figure out what he needs to do for himself to love the game and be good in the game again. And he can’t do it by looking backwards. He’ll have to do it on a new team, an up-and-coming team. Maybe it’ll be the Marlins. Maybe the Indians or White Sox.
But he’ll still be our Dirty. He’ll still be the wildest Wild Thing that AT&T Park ever saw. And he’ll always be the first Giant in my lifetime to throw a no-hitter.
People may be making fun of you right now, Jonathan, but you’ve got a few fans rooting for you. Go kick some ass…except when the Giants are in town.