Dirty Thoughts: What Nobody Wants to Say Out Loud About Jonathan Sanchez

A frustrating start on (insert date here) by J. Sanchez.

He's expendable.

Phew! Havent' been smited yet, so I guess I can keep going.

Remember when we were all nixing EVERY trade proposal that had Jonathan Sanchez in it? Everything  with Sanchez as the centerpiece was regarded as way too much to give up from the Giants standpoint. He had too much potential. He was part of a great, young, homegrown rotation.

And he threw a no-hitter! How do you trade a guy like that? Oh yeah...

Jonathan Sanchez has long-since been considered one of those "once he turns the corner" pitchers. Statistically, he's largely unhittable, which is impressive. Since 2009, opposing hitters are batting a paltry .213 against him. That's like, Javy Lopez/Sergio Romo/Setup Man/Closer status. Which for a starter is pretty unheard of.

His K/9 rate? Great! It's almost 10! But last year he led the league in walks. And this year? He leads the league in walks.

But for some reason, those walks never score, and no one knows why. Sanchez has a great reputation for frustrating EVERYONE on the baseball field. His own manager and pitching coach for walking half the stadium, opposing hitters for not being able to hit him, and then the opposing team and fans for not letting all those walks score.

Sanchy's 28 now. And although he is much, much, much more valuable than Eugenio Velez, I feel like we're entering similar waters. Get it together. We're getting impatient.

KNBR's Damon Bruce say a lot of things I don't agree with. For example,
"What makes Brandon Belt different from Lance Niekro? From Dan Ortmeier? Weren't they supposed to be the first-basemen of the future?" 
Really? Do we have to explain that to you?

But he said something else in that segment that I honestly had to agree with.
"When Jonathan Sanchez leaves the Giants, which he will at some point, he will not be missed." 
Frank. To the point. Taking an aggressive stance. But wrong? I don't know.

I feel like at some point during 2011, every Giants fan has looked at a start by Sanchez and said to themselves, "THAT was a lot more stressful than it should have been." Same goes for 2010. And even 2009.

He has always been on the verge of turning that corner, but for some reason just can't get over the hump. Tim Lincecum is fighting through a rough patch now, just as he did last August. Matt Cain has consistently been underratedly great, but has had to deal with an utter failure to support him throughout his career.

Ryan Vogelsong is doing crazy things, and whatever devil he made a deal with is, for now, going to continue to get free garlic fries at AT&T Park. And despite last night's record-setting anomaly, I would still feel more comfortable throwing Madison Bumgarner out there for an important game than Sanchy.

First, here's what I'm NOT saying. I'm not suggesting that the Giants cut ties with Sanchez altogether, or that he's totally useless. I mean, he's straight up dirty, and nobody can hit him when he's on. But it just seems that he's off a lot more often than he's on.

What I'm NOT saying is that they should dump him for a backup catcher, or a backup catcher that the Giants would make a starter. Trading Sanchez for George Kottaras would be un-Sabean, because the Giants have a tendency (these days) not to get screwed on trades. And Sanchez IS a quality pitcher. (And he hits doubles. Only doubles.)

So what am I saying? I'm saying that if there is a deal to be made out there somewhere, including Sanchez is no longer a dealbreaker for me. At all. Bumgarner? Cain? Wheeler? Dealbreakers. Sanchez? Not so much.

IF IF IF Jose Reyes becomes available and the Giants can manufacture a package with Sanchez instead of Wheeler, I wouldn't storm 24 Willie Mays Plaza with pitchforks and torches. Mostly because I don't know where to find pitchforks and torches, but also because that would no longer break my heart to see.

Barry Zito (sigh) is complicating things. And what the Giants have proven so far is that he is going to be around for 2011. He's not going anywhere. He has thrown very well during his rehab. And it's not to say that Zito is better than Sanchez, but the Giants are not going to move Zito. Period. So his position is much more solid.

There is no easy way to remedy the six man rotation that the Giants will have by the end of the month. The rotation as it is now is still sixth-best in the majors in terms of ERA. And even though there is a lack of "depth," according to Mychael Urban, there are certain things out there that can be done.

I can't really speculate, or suggest that 1) Vogelsong can keep it up or 2) Sabean can do it again with another free agent/trade addition. I will point out that Zito is coming back, and Runzler has been stretched out at Fresno.

And I will say it again, if the right deal comes up, and fictional GM Yandy Balderson wants prospects and an established major league starter named Sanchez for his shortstop, I won't complain.*

Sanchez is Torture Baseball personified, and I don't know how much more I can handle.

*Pending prospects.

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