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09/23/09 8:54 PM ET
Sanchez's knee will need surgery
Giants hope second baseman can finish season with therapy
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez will require surgery on the tear of the meniscus in his left knee that he aggravated Monday night. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, however, is hopeful the procedure can be put off until the offseason and that the second baseman can still contribute to the team's playoff drive after a few days of therapy. "We'll wait and see what happens in these next two games," Bochy said prior to the finale of a three-game series here with the Arizona Diamondbacks. So the club isn't yet shutting down Sanchez for the remainder of a season that has 11 games remaining, even though the Giants took the field Wednesday night trailing Colorado by five games in the National League Wild Card standings. Sanchez, who suffered the injury taking an awkward step on the infield in the bottom of the first inning of Monday night's game, checked into the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon "limping pretty good," according to Bochy. "There's no target date for when we could get him back," the manager said. "He's getting his work done, and we'll see." Whenever -- or if -- Sanchez makes it back on the field this season, the trade that brought him from the Pirates on July 29 can now formally be categorized as a disappointment, for both the team and for him. Sanchez didn't play in his first three games as a Giant -- due to the same left-knee issue -- and when he made his first appearance on Aug. 2, the club was 58-47. The Giants entered Wednesday night's game with a record of 81-70 -- including 13-12 with Sanchez in the lineup. The career .299 hitter is batting .284 in 102 at-bats with the Giants. At the time San Francisco acquired him, Sanchez was 218 plate appearances shy of vesting the $8 million option for 2010 in the contract he had signed with the Pirates. He is still 111 plate appearances short. The inherited contract option carries a buyout for $600,000. Eugenio Velez was in Wednesday's starting lineup at second, replacing Kevin Frandsen, who had gotten the start Tuesday with a left-hander (Doug Davis) on the mound for the D-backs. Taking over in Velez's left-field spot was John Bowker, making his seventh start of the season there.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.