Hector Sanchez

After crushing Giants for two years, Hector Sanchez returns


After crushing Giants for two years, Hector Sanchez returns

SCOTTSDALE — As he passed through the clubhouse Tuesday morning, Bruce Bochy noticed Hector Sanchez sitting at his locker giving an interview. The two smiled while they talked about their reunion, but when Sanchez’s incredible success against the Giants came up, Bochy shook his head and made a sour face. He laughed as he muttered a few choice words. 

“Come on, you know you love me!” Sanchez yelled. 

This season, Bochy will love having Sanchez back on this side of an NL West matchup, regardless of whether he’s in Triple-A or the Majors. The 28-year-old catcher returned on a minor league deal after spending two years terrorizing his old teammates. Last season, Sanchez hit four homers in 30 at-bats against the Giants but just four against every other team combined. Over the last two seasons, he was 13-for-35 against the Giants, with five homers (he hit 10 total in five seasons with the Giants), 14 RBI and a 1.246 OPS. 

The blasts were meaningful, too. With the Padres trailing by two in the ninth inning on April 30, Sanchez hit a game-tying homer off Mark Melancon. The Padres would go on to win in the 11th inning. On July 15, Sanchez crushed a Steven Okert slider into the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park for a two-run walk-off homer. Sanchez even took former Giants deep. He hit one off Sergio Romo in the ninth inning of a game against the Dodgers in June. 

So … why did Hector Sanchez enjoy crushing his former teammates so much?

“Everybody was asking me if it was something that I had against the Giants, but it wasn’t,” he said. “I was just trying to do my job. You guys know me. I’m just going up there trying to do my job. The one thing that helped was I did get the opportunity to play against the Giants a lot, and it’s nice doing well when you get to play against your brothers.”

Padres manager Andy Green certainly took advantage of the odd results. Sanchez’s five starts and 31 plate appearances against the Giants were his most against any team. Whatever the motivation was, it worked. Bobby Evans called in the offseason and Sanchez immediately told his agent he wanted to return to the team that made him Buster Posey’s primary backup from 2012 to 2014. There’s no room at the big league level, but Sanchez will likely team with Trevor Brown in Sacramento to give the organization two experienced options in the minors. 

“It was my dream to finish my career here,” Sanchez said. “My mindset when I first signed my contract was to be a Giant forever. It’s a great feeling to see these guys again.”

On his first day back, Sanchez said he had already taken some ribbing about the damage he did from the other dugout. 

“Everybody is talking to me about it and having fun with it,” he said. “I’ll try to do it against other teams now.”

Former Giants catcher returns to organization on minor league deal


Former Giants catcher returns to organization on minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO — After spending two years destroying his former team, Hector Sanchez is returning to the organization. 

The Giants and Sanchez have agreed to terms on a minor league deal, general manager Bobby Evans confirmed. Sanchez spent the first five seasons of his big league career in San Francisco before stints with the Padres and White Sox. 

In two years with the Padres, Sanchez got 36 at-bats against the Giants and hit five homers and drove in 14 runs. His success became an odd running subplot of the rough 2017 Giants season, but Sanchez — who turned 28 in November — hit just .219 for the Padres last season. Half of his eight homers came with the Giants. 

Sanchez was Buster Posey’s primary backup for three seasons. He returns to an organization that is set at the big league level with Posey and Nick Hundley, but does not have much minor league catching depth. It would appear that Sanchez and Trevor Brown are the two catchers currently set to start the season with Triple-A Sacramento. Aramis Garcia, the organization's top catching prospect, finished last season in Double-A. 

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres


SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.