{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Sanchez gets shot at first base

|
Sanchez gets shot at first base play video for Sanchez gets shot at first base

SAN FRANCISCO -- Managers like saying that players write the lineup card. That is, a player's performance, not the manager's preference, determines who starts and who sits.

If that's the case, then Hector Sanchez is knocking on Bruce Bochy's office door asking to use the manager's pen.

After a slow start, Sanchez entered Tuesday hitting .353 (12-for-34) in his previous 10 games. Overall, he ranked fifth on the team with 16 RBIs despite amassing just 64 plate appearances.

It was no coincidence that Sanchez started Tuesday at first base, a position he had played exactly once -- in a Cactus League exhibition.

Asked if Sanchez would be rewarded for seizing upon his chances to excel, Bochy said, "That's why he's out there today. He's been driving in some key runs. You try to find a way to get that bat in the lineup."

Bochy acknowledged that Sanchez's defense could be an issue. Even Sanchez admitted that mastering the proper footwork around the bag would challenge him. But, Bochy said, "He has pretty good hands and I think he can handle it. We'll have to see how it goes. With [Brandon] Belt out, we're going to get a little creative here."

Bochy reiterated that Michael Morse will receive the "lion's share" of playing time at first base during Belt's absence. But when a left-handed starter pitches for the opposition, as Atlanta's Mike Minor did Tuesday night, Bochy said he might use Sanchez or Buster Posey at first base. If Posey were to play first, Sanchez would catch. "I would like to get Hector out there as much as I can," Bochy said.

Sanchez insisted that didn't feel nervous about playing first. "Catching's harder," he explained.

Sanchez credited hitting coach Hensley Meulens for sparking his offensive surge. Three weeks ago when the Giants visited the Colorado Rockies, Meulens encouraged Sanchez after the switch-hitter's batting average dwindled to a season-low .120. "He told me, 'You know what kind of hitter you are. Don't put pressure on yourself. Trust your hands.' "

In the April 23 series finale, Sanchez delivered two homers, including an 11th-inning grand slam that lifted the Giants to a 12-10 victory. He has remained productive since.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español