Jonathan Sanchez of the San Francisco Giants has been going in and out of the pitching rotation all season. First it was Barry Zito who spelled him for a time, then Dan Runzler, now Eric Surkamp. Now Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that Sanchez is not looking good for a return, and even Bruce Bochy seems hesitant to think that they can rely on him coming back.
Sanchez has given Giants fans fits with his propensity to walk batters over and over; although he's been able to perform at a decent enough level with a decent enough ERA, it's not nearly the kind of consistency San Francisco wants to see from their starting pitching staff. Still, Sanchez as a fifth starter was a decent enough compromise--his absence leaves a huge hole in the roster--the Giants have no fifth starter to rely on for the rest of the year. It becomes a little less troublesome if the Giants make the playoffs, since the rotation will shorten, but San Francisco is playing from behind right now, and with the hitting going the way it is, they need every quality performance they can get.
Surkamp has been bouncing back and forth between the minors and the majors, and he was optioned to make room for other players and get a start in San Jose with the single-A squad. He's the guy they're going to have to rely on for quality innings, and almost every inning is dire for the Giants to keep pace in the race for first in the NL West.
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