“Former ML prospect, but sluggish after Tommy John surgery”… Will Hanwha’s adventure work?

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 The Hanwha Eagles made a strong effort to replace a foreign pitcher before the opening month was over. They recruited Ricardo Sanchez (26), a new foreign pitcher whose talent has been proven, but who has an element of anxiety.

Hanwha announced on the 19th that it had signed a contract with lefty Sanchez for an annual salary of $400,000. On the 18th, Hanwha announced the waiver of foreign pitcher Birch Smith (33), suggesting that the contract with a new face has been completed to some extent. Smith was a player with high expectations as an ace, promising a total of $1 million, but the player himself complained of discomfort in his shoulder and hesitated to pitch, so it was an inevitable choice.

Born in Venezuela, Sanchez began his career in the minor leagues in the United States in 2014 when he was 17 years old. ‘MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR),’ which deals with major league transfer market news, introduced that ‘Sanchez was ranked third in the Angels prospect list ahead of the 2015 season’ by Baseball America.

Sanchez started 133 of his 140 minor league career games, going 32-52 with 640⅓ innings pitched, striking out 581 with a 4.61메이저놀이터 earned run average. Hanwha expects that Sanchez will lead the innings stably as he uses various pitches such as curves, sliders, and changeups in addition to a two-seam fastball with a speed similar to a fastball in the second half of 140 km per hour (up to 151 km), and is characterized by an aggressive pitching pattern. .

Although short, he also has major league experience. Sanchez made his big league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020, posting a 6.75 ERA in 5⅓ innings over three games. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2020 due to elbow pain, which prevented him from continuing his big league career. It can be seen that Hanwha chose an adventure, but if there was no injury history, Sanchez might not have chosen a new challenge in Korea.

MLBTR said, ‘Sanchez suffered pain in his left elbow during the 2020 season and was placed on the injured list, ending the season with the roster removed. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October of that year and missed the entire 2021 season.”

‘Sanchez was able to return to the mound last year and played for Triple-A teams under the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers. Sanchez’s comeback season wasn’t very good. He started 26 games, pitched 116⅓ innings, and had an earned run average of 4.95. Sanchez’s strikeout rate was below average at 19.8 percent, but he grounded balls almost in half and his walk rate was solid at 7.9 percent.”

Sanchez played for the Triple-A team under the Chicago White Sox this year. He recorded 6⅔ innings in 3 games (1 starting game) with an earned run average of 5.40 and quickly chose to go to Korea. In the United States, he failed to achieve results that matched his potential and took on a new challenge.

MLBTR still looked at Sanchez’s future positively. ‘Sanchez is still young, and as a teenager he was noticed as an interesting prospect. Of course, a long time has passed since then, but if I shake off the long hiatus (with Tommy John surgery), I will be able to get better results.”

Hanwha said, “Sanchez plans to join the team as soon as he completes administrative procedures.” No matter how late it is, I plan to set foot on Korean soil within this month.

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