The Hanwha Eagles have acquired a new foreign pitcher, Ricardo Sanchez. It is a quick contract that was made a day after deciding to say goodbye to former foreign pitcher Birch Smith. Sanchez also has a history of elbow surgery, but Hanwha paid attention to the fact that the pitching form is soft for a young left-handed selection type that the club does not have. It is the heart of Hanwha who is already praying that Sanchez will spend a full-time season as healthy as Nick Kingham and Smith Dale Daero.
On April 20, the Hanwha club officially announced that it had signed a contract with Sanchez for an annual salary of $400,000.
Sanchez, a 26-year-old young lefty born in 1997, made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020 and posted an ERA of 6.75 in 5.1 innings in three games. Sanchez started 133 out of 140 minor league games, went 32-52 with a 4.61 ERA and struck out 581 batters in 640.1 innings.
Sanchez uses a curveball, slider, and changeup in addition to a two-seam fastball with velocity similar to a fastball in the late 140km/h (up to 151km/h). Hanwha expects that Sanchez will be able to digest stable innings through his unique aggressive pitching pattern. Sanchez plans to return to Korea in April and join the team as soon as administrative procedures are completed.
After the recruitment announcement on the 20th, a Hanwha official said, “Sanchez is a young left-handed type who is not in our team’s starting lineup, and has a speed of up to 150 km/h and a soft pitching form, so we decided to recruit him. Recently, I made a list of alternative foreign pitchers and kept contacting them. Still, I decided that it was the most resource Sanchez could bring. Director Subero also liked it.”
However, one thing Sanchez also suffers from is the history of surgery. Sanchez underwent collateral ligament reconstruction (MCL) surgery after suffering a ligament injury to his elbow during the 2020 season. Sanchez, who spent the entire 2021 season in the rehabilitation period, played 26 games (116.1 innings) in the minor leagues in the 2022 season.
An official from Hanwha said, “I have a history of surgery, but most of the elbows have no abnormalities for more than 5 years since the surgery. Even after going to the winter league last year, I did not worry too much because I digested innings without any problems. In addition, he judged that the possibility of injury recurrence is low because his pitching form is on the soft side. If we come here and don’t get sick and return to the starting rotation in good health until the end of the season, the time will come for our team to win.”
Hanwha has recently suffered from the evil spirit of foreign pitcher injuries. Kingham, who was recruited in the 2021 season, threw only three games in the 2022 season and was kicked out during the season due to injury. Since there was already a history of injury release during the 2020 season SK Wyverns (now SSG Landers), the recruitment of Kingham, which seemed like a gamble, ended in failure. In addition, Jefri Ramirez, who was brought in as a substitute for Kingham, left the team at the end of the season with a shoulder inflammation injury.
So, there were also great concerns about the recruitment of Smith, who had a history of frequent injuries in the past. True to that concern, Smith showed the worst case scenario of voluntarily going down from the mound in the opening game. With Smith, who was not making progress even in the catch ball stage, Hanwha made a decision without wasting any more time.
Sanchez, who has a history of elbow surgery, shouldn’t be the flop behind Kingham and Smith. It’s an atmosphere that needs to be clearly shown even if it’s ‘healthy’. An official from Hanwha said, “Injury variables are really difficult to predict.메이저놀이터 I really pray and hope Sanchez stays healthy and throws the ball to the end.”