...and what is this? He's proven before that he can hit singles with the best of them and while he probably won't hit .344 again if he continues his solid start... Who knows?
Freddy Sanchez missed the first 38 games of the season and has the opportunity to play in 124 games the rest of the way in 2010. In his first 15 games back he hasn't taken a day off. He's had 43 AB, 8 BB, 2 SH and 1 SF for 64 PA total and is averaging 4.27 PA per game.
If that rate holds for the rest of the season and with no days off, he'll finish the year with 529 PA -- enough to qualify for the batting title. And at that rate he can miss 6 or so games worth of PA and still meet the minimum requirement of 502 PA.
The 2nd place hitter in the lineup historically gets around 4.4 to 4.6 PA per game, so Sanchez is being dragged down to some degree by the out-making of a somewhat poor offense. If the offense picks up, he could see a few more plate trips which would allow for more off days without missing the target.
And keep in mind that even if he does miss the target of 502 PA he could still claim the batting title if he has the best average in the league even after adding the shortfall as batting outs. A .335 season but short 15 PA would only drop his average to around .325 once the extra outs are added (if his walk rate creeps back to its historical norm -- we're looking at you, Panda...) and while it would be the lowest average by a title winner since Pendleton in '91 it can't be dismissed.
Freddy is still a fairly young player at 32, certainly well rested after missing 4 plus months of baseball wrapped around the offseason, and might just play through to the All-Star break with only a single day off. After that, two days off per month down the stretch could leave him just over or short of the line for qualification.
It's good to see the Giants finally getting what they though they were getting in the trade. For the haters... Tim_Alderson still hasn't thrown a pitch above AA although he's still just 21 years old.
This being somewhat a year of the pitcher in NL, and nobody flirting teasingly with .400 or even being polite if distant with .350 (save Andre Ethier who's similarly short on PA and has never hit better than .305 for a full season) it just might happen. Even if it doesn't, seeing the real Freddy at last is a treat, helps firm up the lineup and can only help playoff possibilities.