I brought a pitcher who took a break from the 2021 season with surgery. Of course, there may be question marks, but it is evaluated that he saw hope in the post-surgery process. The Hanwha Eagles, suffering from the evil spirit of an injured foreign pitcher, selected Ricardo Sanchez (26) as a substitute for Birch Smith (33).
Hanwha announced a waiver for Smith on the 19th. Smith, who was dropped as the first starting ace, complained of abnormal symptoms after throwing 60 balls in the opening game on the 1st, and was excluded from the entry the next day. Since there was no improvement in recovery and rehabilitation, the replacement was decided.
According to the Hanwha team, Smith was unable to catch a ball. Even if he plays catch, it will take him a month to return as a starting pitcher. If abnormal symptoms are found again, the first half is out. Hanwha immediately started recruiting a replacement, seeing that there was a high probability of following last year’s train after waiting for Smith.
As a result, he signed a contract with Sanchez for an annual salary of $ 400,000 immediately after the Smith Waver announcement. He highly praised the lack of a left-handed pitcher in the starting lineup and the fact that he was a young pitcher who could further develop in the future. Above all, I saw that Sanchez is highly likely to complete the season without injury.
However, it is somewhat ironic. Sanchez missed the entire 2021 season. During the 2020 season, his first year in the big leagues, he suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his elbow and spent the following year recovering and rehabilitating. In the 2022 season, he went 7-5 with a 4.95 earned run average in 26 games and 116.1 innings at Triple-A in the minor leagues.
What Hanwha paid attention to was not his surgical history, but his post-surgery. General manager Sohn Hyuk of Hanwha said, “I saw him throwing last year as well as until recently this year. In general, it is said that the medial collateral ligament injury will be fine for about 10 years after surgery. In fact, he played a full season last year and threw in the Winter League as well. He said, “I chose it because I was okay with throwing 3 or 4 games this year.”
Next, General Manager Son said, “The pitching motion is passable. It caught my eye that he was a left-handed pitcher who could shoot up to 150 km with a smooth pitching motion. He put six people in the candidate list, including Sanchez, and he picked it as the pitcher he liked the most in the field. There is no special relationship between coach Subero and Sanchez, but the coach also judged that Sanchez was the most suitable candidate.”
Realistically, it is difficult to bring a special ace at this point. It’s early in the season, so players between the big leagues and triple-A are often tied to contracts. Players who move between the big leagues and the minor leagues usually sign a guaranteed contract for as short as April or May until the first half of the year, and then sign a contract to become a free agent if there is no possibility of entering the big leagues.
Sanchez is not a player at that level.안전놀이터 His big league career is also 3 games and 5.1 innings. He has no major league start-up experience. However, a career does not guarantee success. So did Smith. He is a pitcher who threw 160 km in the big leagues and has experience in starting 13 games, but the KBO league results were poor.
The best scenario for Hanwha is for Sanchez to grow while adapting to the Korean stage in a healthy way. Even if you don’t have an active performance that dominates the league right away, you can continue to be with the next season if you continue to rotate and improve. In the era of the restraint revolution, 150 km pitchers do not receive much attention, but 150 km left hand is still precious.