GLENDALE — The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.
Freddy Sanchez (Glendale Community College, 1998) Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman: When the Pirates traded All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for prospects on June 3, Sanchez was affected by the repercussions in more ways than one.
Sanchez was one of the more outspoken Pirates on the subject of the trade, one that many see as a move by the Pittsburgh front office to build for the future at the expense of the present season.
“I don’t want to say yes ... but it’s hard to hide from the facts,” Sanchez told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the subject of whether the organization has given up on the 2009 season. “We’re four games under .500 and playing OK. It’s tough not to look at it as rebuilding.”
The Pirates were 24-28 for fifth place in the National League Central Division when they shipped out McLouth, who was batting .256 at the time. He still leads the team in home runs with nine and runs batted in with 34.
Since the trade, Sanchez has moved from his customary No. 2 slot to fill the third spot in the batting order formerly occupied by McLouth and has batted .189 (seven for 37) in eight games.
Sanchez, who went one for four and doubled and drove in a run in a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday, told the Tribune-Review that he isn’t concerning himself with whether there’s more trades in the Pirates’ immediate plans and whether he could possibly be moved, as well.
“There’s probably a couple guys in here who know we can get traded at any moment,” Sanchez said. “But the last thing on my mind is if I’m next. If we worry about that, we’ll take our focus off what we should be doing, which is winning baseball games.”
Sanchez leads the Pirates (28-33) with a .308 batting average and has driven in 20 runs on the season, while scoring 33 times.
Brandon McCarthy (Former Glendale resident) Texas Rangers starting pitcher: At the moment, there’s no telling when McCarthy will return to the Rangers rotation after he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a stress fracture in his right shoulder.
The move is retroactive to June 4, the date of McCarthy’s last start, in which he allowed six earned runs, but did not factor in the decision in an 8-6 loss to the New York Yankees. But the Fort Worth Star-Telegram quoted Rangers General Manager John Daniels on Monday as saying it would be “several weeks” before McCarthy even picks up a ball.
For McCarthy, who is 5-2 with a 4.92 earned-run average and 44 strikeouts, it’s his fourth stint on the disabled list in his two-plus seasons with Texas, which currently leads the American League West with a 34-25 record as of Friday.
He also missed a great deal of last season coping with severe elbow inflammation and also missed time with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger.
Gregg Zaun (St. Francis High, 1989) Baltimore Orioles catcher: With top catching prospect Matt Wieters starting the season in Triple-A, it was widely assumed Zaun’s days as the Orioles’ starting backstop were numbered.
Sure enough, Wieters was called up May 29 and Zaun has started just three games since then, going one for 10 with a walk, one run and one RBI.
In the same span, Wieters has gotten off to slow start, batting just .229 with no RBIs over his first 35 at bats.
But given Zaun’s underwhelming season line of a .200 average with one homer and five RBIs, Baltimore, which is mired in last place in the American League East at 25-36, is likely to stick with Wieters the rest of the way now that he’s with the club.