Sanchez's next start in doubt
Struggling lefty could be skipped Monday vs. Oakland
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy refused to guarantee that Jonathan Sanchez will make his next scheduled start, indicating that changes could be in store for the club's pitching rotation."I can't answer that right now," Bochy said Wednesday when asked if Sanchez would take his regular turn Monday at Oakland. "We're talking about what we can do about skipping a start or making an adjustment."
Bochy said that the adjustments being pondered include changing the starters' sequence or moving Sanchez to the bullpen, besides bypassing his spot in the rotation. The left-hander fell to 2-7 with a 5.43 ERA as the Giants lost, 8-1, Tuesday to the Los Angeles Angels. It was Sanchez's third consecutive defeat. He has recorded two quality starts (outings lasting at least six innings with three or fewer earned runs allowed), fewest among the Giants' starters.The Giants' off-day Thursday gives them the flexibility to skip Sanchez once. But they'd need a fifth starter for Tuesday night at Oakland. San Francisco has another scheduled off-day on June 25, offering Bochy another opportunity to tweak the rotation. Bochy cited Sanchez's insufficient command of his offspeed pitches as one of his primary flaws.
"That's what Jonathan is missing right now, I think," Bochy said.Sanchez's season-long struggles have been among the few glitches in a rotation that's considered among the National League's best. Entering Wednesday, San Francisco's starting five ranked second in victories (26), first in strikeouts (349), fourth in ERA (3.87) and fifth in innings (381 1/3). If the Giants were to summon a starter from the Minors, leading candidates from Triple-A Fresno would include right-handers Billy Sadler (5-1, 4.91 ERA) or Kevin Pucetas (6-2, 3.40). Highly touted prospects Tim Alderson (3-1, 1.82) and Madison Bumgarner (4-1, 2.38) have excelled at Double-A Connecticut, but the Giants would prefer them to gain more Minor League seasoning.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.