Monday, July 9, 2012

Whiteside to the Rescue

With all of the attempts to get Tim Lincecum back on track I have to question why Hector Sanchez is still behind the plate on days Lincecum pitches.  Yes, it was something Manager Bruce Bochy tried to shake things up earlier in the season but now it's a matter of having someone back behind the plate who is capable of calling a good game. 

I noticed, in yesterday's (7/8/12) loss to Pittsburgh 13-2, that Lincecum had two pitches that were making the batter's miss and yet it appeared Sanchez, in trying to mix up the pitch selection, was calling pitches that were being crushed. 

The game started with Drew Sutton, a .341 hitter at the time of his at-bat, and he swung and missed 3 times for out number one.  Then Neil Walker came to bat and it was as if Sanchez wanted to try a pitch other than the ones Sutton missed.  Either the curveball or slider.  His fastball and changeup seemed to be on.

Walker promptly ripped a double off Lincecum.  Next batter was the ultra hot Andrew McCutcheon.  This isn't the guy to be "trying" things out on.  After getting McCutcheon to swing and miss the pitch selection was again in doubt.  Even after seeing that McCutcheon swung and missed at a pitch the hottest hitter in the league was not given the same pitch but something a little slower. BAMM, the next pitch reaches the seats and immediately it's Pirates-2  Giants-0. 

Some people might wonder why Lincecum didn't shake off the catcher if he felt the pitch called wasn't the one he would get past McCutcheon.  And that's an excellent question.  But in his delicate condition I'd say his confidence is non-existent so he probably doesn't trust his own judgment for the time being.

It's okay to use Hector Sanchez as Barry Zito's catcher because they played together last year when Zeets was rehabilitating.  They seem to have formed a bond and Zito has all the confidence and belief in Sanchez.

I'm not saying Lincecum has no belief in Sanchez but he's going through something he has never gone through before.  Lincecum needs to go down to Fresno and throw to his old batterymate, Eli Whiteside.

The Giants paid Whiteside good money to play in Fresno and now we can see this may have been the best move they made all off-season.  Especially if he corrects the flaws in Lincecum's mechanics.

I hope I don't come off like I'm kicking Hector to the curb but since the Giants will be looking for some help to bolster their roster for the second half of the season, and they seem to have a gluttony of catching help in the minors I think the Giants could use Hector Sanchez as trade bait to get a quality arm or bat.  Realizing you have to give up someone with an upside, which young Hector has, to get someone of equal upside.

If this happens, Eli Whiteside fills his spot on the roster.  All of the pitchers on the staff are familiar with Whiteside and things should resume without anyone missing a beat.

Kevin Marquez