The San Diego Padres are in the midst of a severe offensive slump this season, especially at the plate, where they’ve had some of the worst offensive metrics in the league. Gary Sanchez, 31, has continued to excel since his recent trade to San Diego.
Sanchez started in the No. 7 spot in the lineup against the Miami Marlins in the 2023 Major League Baseball game at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.
In the top of the first inning, he led off with a single to right field, only to be turned around by a diving catch by right fielder Jesus Sanchez.
Sanchez proved his worth in his second at-bat. With his team leading 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning, Sanchez led off with a walk to Jesús Rusardo. Working a full count, he took a changeup and launched a solo shot over the left field fence. The ball traveled 380 feet (115.8 meters) at 98.2 miles per hour with a 26-degree launch angle.
With his team leading 5-1 in the top of the sixth, he put runners on second and third with two outs against reliever Matt Barnes to make it 7-1. In his fourth at-bat, with two outs in the top of the seventh, he struck out swinging. He finished the day 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored in the team’s 10-1 victory.
Sanchez is one of the best offensive catchers in Major League Baseball. Since making his major league debut in 2015, Sanchez has hit 156 home runs and a .468 on-base percentage in 672 career games, and has made a name for himself as one of the league’s best offensive catchers, hitting double-digit home runs every year from 2016 to last, including a 34-homer season with the New York Yankees in 2019.
However, for all his power, Sanchez lacked accuracy and defense at the plate. Sanchez has struggled to find a home since leaving the Minnesota 스포츠토토 Twins last year, and this year, after bouncing around the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, he was designated for assignment (DFA) and found a new home in San Diego.
Despite the small sample size, he has continued to excel since the move. Through three games, he’s batting .364 (11-for-4) with two home runs, four RBIs, and a 1.273 OPS, which has helped spark the offense.
Prior to this day, San Diego ranked dead last in the key offensive metric for catchers. They were batting .165 (28-for-170) with four home runs, 15 RBIs, and an OPS of .497. Set-up man Austin Nola, 34, batted just .125 (13-for-104), and backup catcher Brett Sullivan, 29, struggled at .170 (8-for-47).
The addition of Sanchez, with his proven offense, is a welcome one. He’s also been making an immediate impact at the plate since being acquired.
San Diego is in the bottom half of the major offensive metrics through two days. The team ranks 29th in batting average (.222), last in hits (405), and 25th in on-base percentage (.384). It will be interesting to see if Sanchez’s arrival can open up the San Diego offense.