GLENDALE — The San Francisco Giants’ bid for a second consecutive championship might have become more difficult.
Freddy Sanchez, a Burbank High graduate and former Glendale Community College standout who helped San Francisco win the World Series last season, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday in Arizona.
The former All-Star and National League batting champion injured his right shoulder diving for a ground ball during a game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 10.
“From what we hear, the surgery went well,” San Francisco Manager Bruce Bochy told mlb.com on Tuesday. “They repaired the labrum, and he should be ready for spring training.”
Sanchez, a second baseman, played 60 games this season after signing a one-year extension just after the season began. He batted .289 (69 for 239) with three home runs and 24 runs batted in. He recorded 15 doubles and scored 21 runs. He also had a .988 fielding percentage, to go along with a .332 on-base percentage and a .397 slugging percentage.
Sanchez, who has been felled by injuries throughout his 10-year career, attempted to rehabilitate his latest injury. However, he recently opted to have the surgery and begin trying to make a complete recovery in time for the 2012 season. It marked the second time Sanchez has had season-ending surgery, the first coming in 2007 when he was hampered by another injury to his right shoulder.
Sanchez, who was acquired by the Giants from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009, underwent surgery on his left shoulder twice in December. With a damaged right shoulder, Bochy said the odds of Sanchez returning this season diminished.
“As each day went by, we knew the chances [of Sanchez playing again this season] were diminishing,” Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday. “It’s at a point where we have to make a decision to make sure he’s ready for next year.”
Anticipating Sanchez, 33, not returning, San Francisco General Manager Brian Sabean went out and acquired infield depth in recent weeks. After signing second baseman Bill Hall as a free agent, Sabean then brought in Jeff Keppinger from the Houston Astros and utility player Orlando Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians prior to the trading deadline. They also acquired outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets to provide further offensive punch.
Sanchez is the second San Francisco starter to undergo season-ending surgery this season. The Giants, who entered Wednesday game tied for first place in the National League’s West Division with the Arizona Diamondbacks, lost star catcher Buster Posey because of leg and ankle injuries in May.
Sanchez missed all of spring training and the first 38 games of the 2010 season after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder in late 2009. He missed a portion of the 2009 season with a strained left shoulder.
In 904 career games, Sanchez is batting .297 (1,012-3,402) with 48 home runs, 215 doubles and 371 runs batted in with the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He won a batting crown as a member of Pittsburgh in 2006. He has a lifetime .988 fielding percentage.