CLEVELAND -- Comfortable with an adjustment in his stance, Carlos Sanchez ripped a first-pitch fastball from Lance Lynn for a single in the third inning of Wednesday’s loss.
While it didn’t produce a run, that the White Sox second baseman not only handled a 93-mph fastball but also pulled it is hard to fathom given where he was a month ago. But seemingly over early struggles that left him with a.141 batting average on June 20, Sanchez has renewed confidence at the plate and is showing why the White Sox have remained patient. Over his past 12 contests, Sanchez has a .326/.341/.372 slash line with four multi-hit games, which has raised his average to .200.
“I’ve been able to do that because all of the changes,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “Especially when I’m ready early because before, when pitchers threw me a fastball, they wanted to because I couldn’t get my bat ahead of the ball. Now I feel better and I’m hitting the ball well, ahead of home plate.”
Sanchez, 23, has been a constant target for the fan base on social media, what with his average hovering around .160 for much of the time he was in the majors since his mid-May promotion.
But the White Sox stressed Sanchez is here for his glove and they believed he would adjust and become more like the player who has a .288 career average in the minors if given time. White Sox manager Robin Ventura likes how Sanchez carried himself during a period the rookie described as surprising.
“If you struggle anywhere else you get time to regroup and work it out,” Ventura said. “Up here it doesn’t always pan out that way. This is at the highest level and doubt creeps in -- if you can make it and stay here -- and he’s fought through that in a way that is very professional the way he has gone about it.”
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The key for Sanchez has been a change to his hitting position that has allowed him to be more prepared to hit fastballs. Prior to the past dozen games, Sanchez was hitting .225 this season against four-seam fastballs, according to brooksbaseball.net. Since then, Sanchez is hitting at a .313 clip against four-seamers. Ventura also said Sanchez has been more selective and making sure he’s swinging at fastballs.
Both developments have Sanchez in a much better place.
“I was feeling good and suddenly I couldn’t hit,” Sanchez said. “Sometimes when you’re going through that you have to try to change something.
“I’m feeling very comfortable. I think my confidence is coming back since I’ve started to hit a little bit better. I feel very good right now. I think I’m playing good and help the team.”