SAN DIEGO -- Hector Sanchez completed his seemingly inevitable rise to the Major Leagues on Friday as the Giants purchased the catcher's contract from Triple-A Fresno.Sanchez replaced left fielder Pat Burrell, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a mild right foot strain. Burrell, who's batting .233 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs in 80 games, has been scratched from the starting lineup at least once when a bone spur in the same foot prevented him from running. But manager Bruce Bochy said that Burrell's current injury is unrelated to the bone spur. Sanchez, 21, affirmed his status as one of the organization's top prospects when he rose from Class A Advanced San Jose to Triple-A Fresno earlier this season. He compiled a .302 batting average with eight home runs and 58 RBIs in 67 games overall. He also had an .802 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). Sanchez actually hit more consistently in 25 games with Fresno (.305, compared to .301 at San Jose), but lacked power at the higher classification. He recorded no homers and 12 RBIs with Fresno, contrasting with the eight homers and 46 RBIs he totaled at San Jose. "This is the day I've dreamed of. It's been amazing for me," said Sanchez, who has drawn comparisons to Pablo Sandoval as a switch-hitting Venezuelan with a catching background. With Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart having established themselves behind the plate, Bochy indicated that he will use Sanchez to pinch-hit and will try to start him occasionally. Summoning him from Triple-A, said Bochy, "makes sense with the way he was swinging the bat. I will say that, this spring, I thought he was the most improved of the Minor League players I had seen the year before." Sanchez's defense had been an issue, but Bochy related that Sanchez had responded nicely to the tutelage of Fresno manager Steve Decker, a former catcher.
"He worked with me a lot," Sanchez said.Burrell's injury had made him more of a burden than an asset, since Bochy had to pinch-run for him each time he reached base, which depleted the bench further.
"We were hoping to get it under control without him going on the disabled list, but it wasn't getting any better," Bochy said.To accommodate Sanchez on the 40-man roster, the Giants transferred utility man Mark DeRosa from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. DeRosa has been striving to recover from inflammation and a partial tear of a tendon in his left wrist and hasn't played since May 18.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.