Look, there’s no way to sugar coat it.
Jonathan Sanchez can’t have a night like this again. He gave up five runs and two homers before recording an out. It happens. Baseball isn’t an easy game, and pitchers will have off nights. Even Greg Maddux had off nights.
This whole season has been an off night for Sanchez, though, and that’s the problem.
Sanchez is now 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA in 53.1 innings. He’s walked more batters than he’s struck out. He’s made 12 starts now, and he’s made it past the sixth inning once. Moreover, there are rumors that he isn’t exactly the most motivated of players on the team.
After the game, Ned Yost made a point to say that he had to talk to Dayton Moore about tomorrow’s starter. The underlying idea was that Sanchez’s spot might factor into that, and it should. He’s been awful – Bob Dutton pointed out that the 7.76 ERA is the second-worst in team history among pitchers with 50 or more innings pitched.
Somebody’s going to have to come up tomorrow. Doug Davis is scheduled to start for Omaha and has been a possible addition for a while now. He’d have to be added to the 40 man roster. The Royals don’t have a player on the 15-day DL to move to the 60 man at this point, so someone would have to be designated if Davis were the guy to get the call. Sanchez is owed $5.6 million this year, but he’s a sunk cost at this point. Would you rather try to salvage the remaining $2M-plus of his contract or get someone who might be able to do better than the 7.76 ERA?
The Royals lost Melky Cabrera in the process of acquiring Sanchez. It stings and it’s the most unbalanced trade Dayton Moore’s made in hindsight. The instinct is to try to keep him around and get something, some sign of encouragement that he can turn it around.
But that’s not going to happen. He was suspect as a pitcher because of his tendency to get wild and use too many pitches. Now that he’s getting hit and hit hard, he’d need a complete overhaul to get the magic back. Yeah, he’s a guy who’s thrown a no-hitter, but he hasn’t done much since 2010.
There might be some who say they can’t just cut a veteran loose and it’s disrespectful to him, but in a season that’s seen some bad starting pitching, Sanchez’s starts are too much to take. Sometimes feelings have to be hurt. This isn’t recess. It’s not a rec league. It’s Major League Baseball and Sanchez doesn’t look like a Major League pitcher anymore.
I can’t convince myself to keep him around anymore.