Aaron Sanchez is one step closer to making his Giants spring training debut.
The veteran right-hander threw a three-inning simulated game Sunday on the backfields of Scottsdale Stadium. His fastball reportedly sat at 92 to 94 mph, and he was happy with how he felt back on the hill.
“I felt great,” Sanchez said to reporters on Sunday. “Stuff came out of my hand good. I made some adjustments on the offspeed pitches that I needed to make. If I'm pitching in the game in five days, I'm very confident and comfortable, for sure.”
The Giants signed the 28-year-old Sanchez to a one-year contract in February. He missed all of last season to shoulder surgery but impressed the Giants in a bullpen where he was up to 98 mph.
Sanchez is expected to make his Cactus League debut at some point this week. Manager Gabe Kapler clearly was happy with what he saw out of Sanchez, too.
“I thought he threw the ball great,” Kapler said to reporters. “Really encouraging outing. The ball was coming out good. He was getting swings-and-misses and landing his breaking ball. Threw some nice changeups. Overall, high-quality outing.”
While the Giants have taken a cautious approach with Sanchez this spring, he says he has felt ready to go for a while now. That's great news for the Giants after they added plenty of pitching depth this past offseason. Sanchez is expected to be in the Giants' rotation to start the season, and they believe he can be the same pitcher he was back in 2016 when he was an All-Star and led the AL in ERA.
Sanchez went 5-14 and had a 5.89 ERA between the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros in 2019. He has a 3.98 ERA in his six-year big league career.