Thursday, March 29, 2012

Report: Freddy Sanchez to Start Year on DL; Nowhere Close to Being Ready

San Francisco Giants' second baseman Freddy Sanchez will reportedly start the year on the disabled list, but even worse news for the Giants is that it appears Sanchez is nowhere close to suiting up and taking his place at second base for this team.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman confirmed the speculated news that Sanchez was DL-bound on Thursday, and it appears Sanchez' shoulder that was injured last season has not progressed to the extent that the Giants organization would have liked.

Sanchez has been limited to designated hitter duties so far, and has been extremely limited in the field in practice.

NBC Hardball Talk's D.J. Short reported earlier this week that not only is Sanchez going to start the season on the DL, but that he is nowhere close to being able to fully play the field.

This report was a long time coming, though.  Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly gave us a hint as to the condition of Sanchez's shoulder nearly a week ago, but the report was merely Baggarly's speculation at the time.

The fact is Sanchez is obviously struggling out there.  It seems as though his progress with the injury while swinging at the plate is not the problem, but the throwing motion is.  The hardest part for a shoulder injury would be to throw across the body when turning a double play, and Sanchez cannot accomplish that without pain just yet.

So where does this leave the Giants?

At first glance, there would seem to be no problem with Sanchez starting the season the DL.  Emmanuel Burris is having a very nice Spring, showing speed and an actual ability to swing the bat.  With the Giants currently shopping Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot, Burris would appear to be a lock for the second base job on Opening Day.  

Judging by Sanchez's progress with that shoulder, Burris could be holding that position for much longer than expected.

A clear concern for San Francisco is that Burris has been able to hit at lesser levels in the organization.  It is when he finally achieves Major League status that his bat fails to produce.  He has speed on the base paths, but what the Giants need this season is his bat, especially if Sanchez is nowhere near playing the field just yet.

For now, maybe the Giants should hold off on trading Theriot and Fontenot.  They are simply utility players at this point in their careers, but they could fill a very large hole that the Giants now have at second base.

Of course, the hole is only as big as Burris makes, but judging by Burris' MLB career to this point, GM Brian Sabean may hold off on the infield trade market for now.

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