Share This Page

Bucs' Sanchez mired in slump

MILWAUKEE -- A hitch in Freddy Sanchez's swing has him stuck in the deepest batting funk of his career.

"Something's got to change, because I'm not getting it done," the Pirates second baseman said Friday, without divulging what has gone amiss with his mechanics. "I'm working every day and, hopefully, I can turn this thing around. I want to be out there with these guys. They're playing good baseball -- we're playing good baseball -- and I want to be a part of it."

Yesterday, Sanchez was benched for the second game in a row. Manager John Russell said Sanchez could "possibly" be back in the lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I just wanted to give him a couple days to regroup a little bit," Russell said. "We'll see how it goes."

Despite hitting safely in seven of his past 10 starts, Sanchez was batting just .229. His .257 on-base percentage is the lowest among National League players with at least 200 plate appearances.

"I feel like I'm the one who's ... if I could be doing more, we'd be in a better position," Sanchez said.

Sanchez batted .232 over the first month of the season, then hit .258 in May. Over the past four-plus weeks, however, he batted .204.

"It got to where he was pressing," Russell said. "I told him to relax, work in the cage and not worry about taking what he's working on into the game. He can get better work done when he's not worrying about results."

Sanchez, the 2006 NL batting champ, missed nearly all of spring training because his recovery from shoulder surgery went much slower than expected. The shoulder continued to bother him into the regular season.

The past two weeks, Sanchez's shoulder has been relatively pain-free. While Sanchez admits his shoulder woes made him a defensive liability, he insists they did not affect his swing.

"There's no excuse for what I'm doing offensively," Sanchez said. "I've been preparing hard every day, but I'm just not getting it done.

"I know what I can do at the plate. I'm still confident. I know this thing's going to turn around. I can't worry about what's happened these past three months. I can only worry about (what happens) from here on out."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.