The Rockies traded away Jeremy Guthrie today to the Kansas City Royals in return for Jonathan Sanchez. (Just to add some kindling to the fire – if there is even a small burn – how come Troy Renck hasn’t been breaking these stories? Are the Rockies not happy with their main beat reporter telling the truth in the local paper?)
We all know how bad Guthrie has been in Colorado, but Sanchez might have been just as bad in Kansas City. On July 17th the Royals designated Sanchez for assignment.
Many Rockies fans will remember Sanchez (29 years old) because he pitched with the San Francisco Giants for six of his seven years in the Big Leagues. Last year he was traded from San Francisco to Kansas City for Melky Cabrera. And if Rockies fans think some of the trades Dan O’Dowd has made have been poor, this one might top them all. Cabrera is an All-Star outfielder with the Giants this year and the All-Star game MVP, he leads the league in hits and Sanchez owns a 7.76 ERA. That’s right, his ERA is higher than Guthrie’s.
Sanchez is a lefty and had many good seasons with the Giants (in their pitcher friendly park, quite the opposite of Coors) and even has a no-hitter under his belt.
Sanchez can strikeout batters with the best of them; from 2007 to 2011 he averaged 8.9 strike outs per nine innings or higher each season. His main problem is his control. During those sames seasons, ’07-’11, he averaged four or more walks per nine innings with 5.9 walks per nine in ’11. Now in 2012 his walks per nine sky rocketed to 7.4 per nine, which is unfathomable and his K’s per nine dropped all the way to 6.1 per nine, by far a career low.
The Rockies have had trouble with walks all year and adding a guy who has excelled at allowing free passes might not be the best idea.
The one thing we feared here at Blake Street Bulletin when Guthrie was acquired was his propensity for fly balls. Sanchez is no different. In fact, when looking at career numbers Guthrie has allowed the following percentages (line drive/ground ball/fly ball): 18.9/40.7/40.4 and Sanchez’s line looks eerily similar: 18.3/40.9/40.8. The two even have a very similar career xFIP (Sanchez: 4.33 and Guthrie: 4.66).
Rockies fans cannot complain, however; as Guthrie has been a target for a few months now. At least O’Dowd got rid of him and I like the trade. While Sanchez has been awful maybe the “change of scenery” cliche will work in the Rockies favor. Sanchez can strikeout a ton of batters even if he does walk a lot. Think Ubaldo Jimenez early in his career; Sanchez is similar when it comes to K:BB ratios.
Is this a good trade for the Rockies? Or are you glad to just have Guthrie out of Denver? Leave your thoughts below.