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Sanchez Throws No-Hitter, Ramblings

July 12, 2009

Jonathan Sanchez

Man, talk about something completely and totally unexpected. Jonathan Sanchez threw a no-hitter against the Padres, and it would’ve been a perfect game had Juan Uribe not booted a play. Granted, Sanchez no-hit the worst offensive team in Baseball (.301 wOBA)- but it’s still an impressive feat considering that he didn’t walk anybody and that he was efficient with his pitch count.
Considering that Sanchez’s trade value dropped dramatically, I suppose this begs the question as to whether or not his value has risen, and if so, by how much. It appears that he’s tweaked his mechanics some, and it’s possible (not probable) that these changes might help him really blossom into the pitcher we know he can become. If that’s the case, it’d be better for the Giants to hold on to him a while longer to reevaluate him and get full value for him, especially now that Randy Johnson is on the DL.

Trade Rumors

There’s been a lot of talk that the Giants are interested in acquiring second baseman Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, and he’d be an interesting pickup depending on the price.  His value is mostly derived from his high contact rate, a plus glove, and a guy that can be a doubles machine.  Overall, he’s a league average-ish hitter and would make a nice complementary piece on any roster.  His inability to walk is something I hate, but as long as he puts the bat on the ball, I’ll put up with his Molina-esque walk rates.  I’d go after him but wouldn’t offer much.

Matt Holliday?  Well, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t say it’s probable.  Billy Beane is going to be looking for a nice haul in return, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he asked for Tim Alderson as part of a package.  The Giants might lose Holliday to Free Agency, but they’d receive some nice supplemental picks for the 2010 draft.  It’s something the Giants should certainly consider.

Exceeding Expectations

The Giants’ corner infielders, Pablo Sandoval (3.1 WAR) and Travis Ishikawa (1.1 WAR), have performed above expectations so far this season.  Sandoval’s been on a tear recently, and his glove is close to league average.  Ishikawa started out miserably, but he’s starting to turn things around.  His glove has been spectacular, as his +8.6 UZR is 3 runs above runner-up Paul Konerko.  It’s possible that his glove has been even better than that, when you consider that UZR doesn’t track a first baseman’s ability to save errant throws.  Here’s something that makes me excited:

Sandoval wOBA by month:

March/April- 0.341

May- 0.353

June- 0.498

July (through 7/12)- 0.437

Ishikawa wOBA by month:

March/April- 0.246

May- 0.348

June- 0.366

July (through 7/12)- 0.366

I really think the Giants brass should think long and hard about whether or not it’s worth it to pursue a first baseman via trade when Ishikawa’s beginning to produce both on the field and at the plate.

Link Dump

-It looks like soon there will be a system that’ll rival UZR (if not surpass it altogether) when it comes to quantifying defense.  This is a very, very exciting development.

-Sean Smith’s WAR database now includes players back to 1871.  Wow.

-Back to Jonathan Sanchez: Andrew Baggarly has a nice Q&A with Dave Righetti on Sanchez.

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