The Pittsburgh Pirates are staring at a decision about left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. The team is nearly at double digit days until they must decide if Sanchez is worth a roster spot. With his performance against the Houston Astros (ahem) the decision might be more difficult.
You know you’re thinking about it. No way you tell yourself, but then deep inside you start thinking back….heh Sanchez really did strikeout everyone known to man back in…you stop yourself. It couldn’t be that easy. No way. But against Houston. Ok, stop right there……
Deep breath. Here we go.
Sanchez attacked the Astros hitters, some of them who never played higher than Double-A, but Houston did bring a .273 team average into the game. Good for one of the best in all of Major League baseball. The Astros are also slugging the hell out of the ball and trail only the Seattle Mariners in meaningless Spring Training homers.
Justin Maxwell struckout looking and two flyouts ended the first.
A flyout, groundout and Jason Castro swinging and missing ended the second.
A groundout, a Tyler Greene swing-and-a-miss for Sanchez’s third strikeout, and an Altuve flyout ended the third.
The Pirates had seen enough and Jeanmar Gomez came into the game in the fourth inning.
So what does it all mean? Probably not a whole lot–but it was cool watching Dirty Sanchez show how he is capable of pitching at least. The southpaw gets another shot with a start against the Twins coming up in a few days. If he pitches like he did against the Astros, it is going to be at least a more difficult decision for the team.
A starting backend of the rotation with Jeff Karstens and Jonathan Sanchez? The thought would have been viewed as bordline insane a few months ago when Karstens seemed destined to sign with another club and Sanchez well, the left-hander seemed to be headed anywhere a minor league deal could be had.
But baseball is a funny game. Hope springs eternal. Maybe Ray Searage and the boys are waving their magic wand on the turnaround project of the spring? (I am trying to be serious, here…..hahahaha)
If Jonathan Sanchez is in the rotation on April 1, the Bucs have some serious problems, or are just insane. But the more I think about it, perhaps I am the insane one?