Happy Friday, San Francisco Giants fans. After a painful day off (where was my baseball, damn it?!?!?), the Giants are back in action tonight.
Per the usual, the Giants will have 26 active players tonight when they face the Miami Marlins. But one player who is not part of that 26? Catcher Gary Sánchez. Instead, Sánchez has been called up by the New York Mets, where he’ll get the rare chance to play for both Big Apple teams.
The Mets are calling up Gary Sanchez, per sources. He’ll be active Friday.— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) May 19, 2023
You probably remember that the Giants signed Sánchez at the start of the season. Since he hadn’t been in Spring Training he was rusty, so the Giants signed him to a Minor League deal, with a $4 million contract that would vest if he made it to the Majors. And if he hadn’t made it to the Majors, he’d get the chance to opt out.
It seemed like fait accompli that he’d end up on the Giants. After all, the Giants had three catchers, and one was an injury-riddled veteran, one was an unproven youngster, and one was an outfielder who had never played in the Majors. Sánchez, after all, is a two-time All-Star.
But even though Roberto Perez suffered a season-ending injury, it never happened. The combination of Blake Sabol’s offense and Joey Bart’s defense was promising enough, and the emergence of Patrick Bailey as a potential summer call-up was enticing.
Above all else, though, was the fact that Sánchez simply didn’t hit, as his slash line was a paltry .164/.319/182 in 69 plate appearances with AAA Sacramento.
He did opt out, and the Mets scooped him up, and he’s been a completely different player in their farm system, hitting .318/.531/.545 in 32 plate appearances with their AAA affiliate.
Make no mistake, the Giants made the right decision. Sánchez is as much of a question mark as any catcher in the Giants system, and his upside isn’t high enough to jeopardize what Sabol, Bart, or Bailey might be able to learn or contribute.
But the front office isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt from fans right now, so you can bet your butt there will be grumblings if Sánchez regains his form with the Mets.
It’s also a good reminder that roster depth is something every team deals with. Giants fans get upset at the team for not having better backup plans, but her are the Mets, who had the offseason philosophy that money exists solely to be sent (strong agree, by the way), and they’re using the backup catcher that he Giants rejected.
They’re also only one game ahead of the Giants in the Wild Card standings. And the San Diego Padres are a half game behind the Giants. So...
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants start a series against the Marlins tonight at 7:15 p.m. PT