Giants’ Sanchez needs knee surgery

According to a report by, Giants’ second baseman Freddy Sanchez needs to have surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, however, is hopeful the procedure can be put off until the offseason and that the second baseman can still contribute to the team’s playoff drive after a few days of therapy.

“We’ll wait and see what happens in these next two games,” Bochy said prior to the finale of a three-game series here with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

So the club isn’t yet shutting down Sanchez for the remainder of a season that has 11 games remaining, even though the Giants took the field Wednesday night trailing Colorado by five games in the National League Wild Card standings.

Sanchez, who suffered the injury taking an awkward step on the infield in the bottom of the first inning of Monday night’s game, checked into the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon “limping pretty good,” according to Bochy.

Sanchez is hitting .284 since joining the Giants, but he certainly hasn’t made the impact that the club had hoped when they acquired the second baseman from Pittsburgh in exchange for Tim Alderson, one of the club’s top pitching prospects.

Sanchez just hasn’t been healthy enough to have an impact for the fading Giants, who are four games back of the Rockies in the NL Wild Card standings and essentially need a miracle over the next two weeks to make the postseason.

There has to be some within the Giants’ organization that are second guessing the trade for Sanchez, although hindsight is always 20/20.

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The Giants overpaid for Freddy Sanchez

It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants have one of the worst offenses in baseball this year. They’re ninth in the NL in batting average (.258) and dead last in runs scored (398), on-base percentage (.307) and slugging percentage (.691). Given how bad their offense is, the actors that played Roger Dorn, Jake Taylor and Pedro Cerano from “Major League” would compile a better lineup than the puss (save for Pablo Sandoval) that the Giants fill their lineup card with on a nightly basis.

So when you read or hear that San Fran traded for Pirates second baseman and ’06 batting champ Freddy Sanchez on Wednesday, it’s easy to think that the Giants just added the equivalent of Mickey Mantle’s bat to their lineup.

There’s no question that Sanchez is a dramatic upgrade over the players that San Fran has tried at second base this year, which include Emmanuel Burriss, Kevin Frandsen, Juan Uribe, Matt Downs and Eugenio Velez. And there’s no question that the Giants are better today than they were yesterday, just based on the fact that Sanchez will actually take pitches (something Giants hitters avoid at all cost), drive gaps and get on base.

But make no mistake: Brian Sabean still overpaid.

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Ten Predictions for the MLB second half

The second half of the 2009 MLB season has kicked off and with that, I’m going to make some predictions that are sure to be proved wrong in a couple months.

Feel free to whip out your crystal ball in the comments section but before you do, please do everyone a favor and take off your favorite team prescribed glasses and be objective for once in your life, will ya?

1. The Blue Jays will trade Halladay…to the Phillies.
Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is reminding everyone who will listen that he doesn’t absolutely need to trade Roy Halladay – which he doesn’t. But the bottom line is that he’ll probably get more in return for the “Doc” this season than he would next when Halladay is set to become a free agent after the 2010 season. And despite Ricciardi stating that he’s open to trading Halladay within the division, he’s not stupid. He’s not going to trade Halladay to the Red Sox or Yankees and risk becoming public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of Jays fans for not only getting rid of their best and most popular player, but also trading him to a division rival in the process. In the end, I think Ricciardi will trade Halladay to an NL team and my guess is that it will be Philadelphia that will eventually puts a package together to acquire him. Although they might balk at the $7 million that’s remaining on Halladay’s contract, the Phillies are built to win now and need more starting pitching to make another run at a World Series. They also have enough appealing prospects to entice Ricciardi to make a deal.

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Giants can’t be quick to trade Jonathan Sanchez now

If you were to have gotten Giants general manager Brian Sabean all liquored up in a private setting (I know you’re probably weirded out by the start of this sentence, but stay with me here) and asked him which players he wouldn’t mind giving up in a trade to acquire a bat, he almost certainly would have uttered this name: Jonathan Sanchez.

Hell, there’s a great chance he would have uttered that name first. But that was before Sanchez’s no-hitter against the Padres on Friday night, when he struck out 11 batters and was a Juan Uribe-error away from throwing a perfect game.

The Giants had been waiting for that kind of performance all season out of Sanchez. Granted, they weren’t expecting that good of a performance, but they did have high expectations for him coming into the 2009 season.

He did show flashes of brilliance earlier this season, most notably in a two-hit, 2-0 win over the Diamondbacks on April 17. But ’09 has mostly been a season of massive frustration for not only Sanchez, but also a Giants organization that had hoped the 26-year-old lefty would be the third leg of a tripod that also featured pitching sensations Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.

Sanchez has always been a strikeout pitcher, but for much of this season he struggled mightily with his control and he seemed to be racking up K’s only because he was wildly effective. And when he would start to struggle during games, he appeared to be a mental midget on the mound and could never recover.

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Report: Pirates pushing hard to deal Freddy Sanchez

One of the more intriguing names on the trade market is Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who is currently batting .316 with six dingers and 33 RBI. And as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting, the Bucs are pushing hard to deal him before the trade deadline.

Two teams that covet the second baseman are the Giants and Rockies, each of whom are battling it out behind the Dodgers in the NL West and are in the thick of things for the NL Wild Card. Sanchez would be a nice catch for either team, although something for both clubs to consider is his salary. The All-Star makes $6.1 million this year and will make $8 million in 2010 if he picks up another 271 plate appearances before the end of the season.

Colorado might hold an edge over San Fran in the Sanchez sweepstakes because Pittsburgh is reportedly gaga over Rockies’ minor leaguer Eric Young. The 24-year-old has 23 extra base hits, 37 walks and a whopping 47 steals so far in the minors and if the Rox are willing to part with him, they could have Sanchez in uniform sooner rather than later.

That said, the Giants always have an abundance of pitching, but whether or not they’re willing to give any of it up remains to be scene. Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson are certainly out of the question, but GM Brian Sabean could still put a decent package together with the likes of Jonathan Sanchez or Kevin Pucetas, coupled with a couple of offensive prospects. (Sabean would probably be willing to throw Fred Lewis into the mix as well, although who knows if the Bucs would even want the struggling 28-year-old outfielder.)

It’ll be interesting to see which team eventually winds up making a move for Sanchez. Either way, it appears that his days in Pittsburgh are numbered.

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