Pirates' Sanchez healthy, ready to bounce back
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle described Gaby Sanchez as “in a good place physically.” He was discussing the health of his first baseman, but there is another meaning to that.
Sanchez, who joined the Pirates at the July trade deadline, is finally sound after dealing with knee problems and eventual surgery that affected his hitting since the middle of the 2011 season while playing for the Marlins.
Even though it meant leaving south Florida, where he spent his entire life, the 29-year-old Sanchez agreed he ended up in a better location, far removed from the distracting, circus atmosphere that contributed to the Marlins' 2012 implosion.
After dealing with incessant hype and attention focused on the club's name and venue changes, the Ozzie Guillen sideshow, an opulent, gimmicky new stadium and an off-season spending spree that went bust, Sanchez said he appreciates his new, drama-free surroundings.
“Being able to see one organization, and then another, it's great here,” he said. “It's easy to go to the ballpark every day.”
Sanchez was supposed to help staunch the type of collapse that ruined the 2011 season, but the job was too big. Platooning at first base with Garrett Jones, the right-handed hitting Sanchez hit .241 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 50 games for the Pirates.
That was somewhat better than his .202, three homers and 17 RBI in 55 games with the Marlins sandwiched around three weeks in the minors.
“It just happens,” he said. “That's the way baseball is.”
In November 2011, Sanchez had arthroscopic surgery to clean up a frayed patella tendon in his right knee. Rehab limited his workout routine “and I definitely wasn't as strong as I could be,” he said. “When I made contact with balls, even when I hit them good they weren't going like they had in years past. So this off-season, that's what I'm getting back to. Get stronger.”
Hurdle said he has observed Sanchez working out at PNC Park, “and he's strong, he's injury-free and he still has a couple of months to work.”
Sanchez made the National League All-Star team in 2011, but that was tempered by a poor second half when his knee flared up and he played in pain. Although it altered his hitting mechanics, Sanchez never removed himself from the lineup.
“I'm not the kind of person who just sits out and says, ‘I'm not gonna play' just because my knee is hurting,” Sanchez said. “I know I can at least run and do those kinds of things.”
Sanchez said his play improved with the Pirates, a 3-for-29 finish notwithstanding.
“I felt like when I came here I was hitting the ball well,” he said. “I was making hard contact, I was taking at-bats deep into the count, I got back to what I did best. In the last six or seven games I was hitting the ball extremely well and I couldn't get lucky. Everything I was hitting was a line-out somewhere.”
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7810.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Biertempfel: Players, MLB agree logic of season’s setup needs to be examined
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Pirates farmhand Suchy learns limits of his size, strength
- Gameday: Pirates at Reds, Aug. 2, 2015
- Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
- Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
- Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
- Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
- Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list