The year of the injury continued for the Giants in last night’s 3-2 win over the Reds. Freddy Sanchez was removed from the game in the 5th inning when he dove for a Brandon Phillips’ grounder and came up in pain. Right now, the team is calling Sanchez’s injury a ‘dislocated shoulder’ but the severity of the injury is unknown until Sanchez gets an MRI today. Sanchez has battled shoulder issues over his career and it’s his throwing shoulder that’s hurt this time. Since he became a Giant, Sanchez has undergone two surgeries on his left shoulder and at least one on his left knee. In 2007, while with the Pirates, Sanchez underwent surgery on his right shoulder.
Sanchez’s injury is another in a long line of health issues that the Giants have been forced to deal with this year. The Giants top five position players by fWAR.
Name G wOBA wRC+ Fld Bsr WAR Pablo Sandoval 24 0.390 147 7.0 -0.2 1.7 Buster Posey 45 0.341 113 2.6 0 1.6 Andres Torres 36 0.347 117 0.2 -0.5 1.0 Freddy Sanchez 60 0.318 97 -0.6 -0.3 1.0 Aaron Rowand 52 0.287 76 2.4 2.5 0.7
Sandoval is attempting to come back from a broken hamate bone in his right hand and it’s unknown how effective he’ll be when he’s recalled. Hamate bone injuries seem to affect people differently, but generally the player loses some of his power. Posey is out for the season. Torress has been injured, but he’s playing now. Freddy Sanchez is fourth on our list and his injury status is currently unknown, but he’s expected to miss significant time. And then there is Aaron Rowand who is useless against right-handed pitching.
Following Sanchez’s injury, Ken Rosenthal tweeted:
Hall should be a stopgap solution until Mike Fontenot returns. Sometime back in 2005-2006, Hall looked like one of the future stars in the NL. In 2006, he batted .270/.345/.553 with 35 home runs for the Brewers while playing shortstop most nights. It was a 5.2 win season. Unfortunately, he’s yet to reach the same level of production since that year and he’s been seen as something of a disappointment. And, really, what more can you say about a player when the Astros release you. Getting released by the worst team in baseball has got to sting even the most hardened player’s ego. Hall was useful for the Red Sox in 2010 as a utility player. He hit for power (.209 ISO), walked a little (8.9%), and whiffed a lot (30.2%). He saw time on defense at 2B, 3B, SS, and the OF. That modest bounce-back season earned Hall a $3M deal with the Astros to be their starting second baseman.
Here’s Hall’s career path on offense by wRC+ (think of it as a more accurate OPS+)
Hall’s return to the NL has not been pretty. He’s batted .224/.272/.340 this season while posting a career high strikeout rate (37.4%) in 158 plate appearances. The ZiPS rest-of-season projections have Hall as a .304 wOBA batter over the remainder of the season. That’s a useful guy to have on your bench, but for the Giants, when your lineup is composed entirely of bench players, it’s hard to find the silver lining. There’s a good chance Hall will smack a few dingers while playing a few different positions, but for the Giants, it’s not really an acceptable solution for a team with playoff aspirations. No matter how much injuries have damaged the team this year, the NL West looks weak and the Giants need to decide what they’re going to do if Sanchez can’t return this season — that’s an entirely plausible, scary, scenario.
At some point, the curled up fetal ball chants of ‘Pablo is coming back, Pablo is coming back, Pablo is coming back‘ isn’t going to be enough to steer this team in the right direction. Injuries suck.