The next player on our list of 2021 San Francisco Giants season reviews is right-handed pitcher Aaron Sanchez.
9 games, 7 starts, 35.1 innings, 3.06 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 1.330 WHIP, 26 strikeouts, 15 walks, 0.6 rWAR, 0.4 fWAR
There are two ways to look at the Aaron Sanchez era.
The first is to view him as a reclamation project who couldn’t quite be reclaimed. Anthony DeSclafani looked like the ideal version of himself, and not the player who struggled mightily in 2020. Alex Wood looked closer to his previous All-Star self than his recent not-good self.
Sanchez did not do that ... except, he kind of did that? He didn’t pitch nearly as well as DeSclafani or Wood, but his ERA and FIP were both the best they’d been since 2016, by a long shot. So he was the reclamation project who wasn’t reclaimed, except for the part where he was kind of reclaimed.
The second is to view him as someone with an ERA barely above 3, and an FIP barely above 4, who still got designated for assignment while the Giants continued to roll with Johnny Cueto (4.08 ERA, 4.05 FIP), Sammy Long (5.53 ERA, 4.23 FIP), Scott Kazmir (6.35 ERA, 6.43 FIP), and José Quintana (4.66 ERA, 6.58 FIP).
Not exactly a sterling endorsement.
Perhaps the Giants were scared off by Sanchez’s low strikeout and high walk rates, and deemed the results unsustainable. Perhaps they just didn’t like the way it looked, as he was hardly giving the impression of a hard-to-hit pitcher. Or maybe it was the rumors of his unhappiness at the team’s decision to not use him exclusively as a starting pitcher.
Whatever it was, the Giants decided not to move forward with Sanchez, despite sporting a better ERA than about half of the team’s pitchers — including DeSclafani and Wood.
And it still felt like the right move, so...
Role in 2022
Sanchez didn’t catch on with another team after being DFA’d, so he may have to settle for a Minor League deal somewhere next season. I feel pretty comfortable asserting that it won’t be with the Giants.
How do you grade Aaron Sanchez’s season?
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