Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Tue, 3/13
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 13 2012 6:43PM
Since the Royals traded for Jonathan Sanchez in November, fans have asked me what to expect from him this season. Before spring training began, I made my assessment based mostly on the numbers Sanchez posted with the Giants, which showed high walk and strikeout totals as well as a low rate of hits allowed. Digging further, I learned Sanchez averaged less than six innings per start over the last two seasons. Everything indicated Sanchez was someone who would throw a lot of pitches and allow his share of baserunners but, if things were going well, Sanchez would be able to keep damage to a minimum because of his low hits-allowed numbers and high strikeout rate.
After watching Sanchez pitch in spring training, it’s pretty clear the numbers didn’t lie. Today against the Reds in Surprise, Sanchez issued two walks and one hit in the first – a home run by Jay Bruce – and allowed two runs (he wasn’t helped by a pickoff throw that first baseman Billy Butler missed. Butler was charged with an error). After a 1-2-3 second inning, Sanchez was pulled after allowing hits to the first two batters of the third. All told, Sanchez threw 51 pitches in 2+ innings. Some pitchers always seem to work long innings and throw a lot of pitches, and that’s what I think Royals fans can expect from Sanchez, even on days he’s pitching well.
Royals catcher Salvador Perez came out of the game in the top of the second. Afterwards, manager Ned Yost says it appears Perez tweaked his knee while warming up Sanchez in the bullpen before the game and the Royals are awaiting MRI results. The Royals already lost one catcher this spring, Manny Piña, for several months with a knee injury. Of course, losing Perez for any length of time would be devastating; he may be the most indispensible player on the club. Hopefully, for the Royals sake, they get good news about Perez’s knee later tonight or tomorrow.