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SF Giants RHP Aaron Sanchez Throws Simulated Game

The SF Giants signed former Houston Astros pitcher Aaron Sanchez. (Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)
The SF Giants signed former Houston Astros pitcher Aaron Sanchez. (Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)
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SF Giants, Aaron Sanchez
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 15: Aaron Sanchez #18 of the Houston Astros pitches during the game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 15, 2019, in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Astros 7-6. Sanchez signed with the SF Giants this offseason. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

SF Giants pitcher Aaron Sanchez threw a simulated game on Sunday. Several Giants beat writers were on hand in Scottsdale to get a firsthand look at the recently acquired righty. Mark W. Sanchez of KNBR noted that Sanchez was “getting a good deal of swing and miss” from opposing hitters. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Sanchez recorded a pair of strikeouts in two clean innings before surrendering a run on two hits and a walk in his third inning of work. Manager Gabe Kapler later shared with reporters that Sanchez’s fastball sat between 92-94 mph.

Sanchez is the lone pitcher slated to be in the Giants Opening Day rotation that has yet to appear in a spring training game. However, the coaching staff allowing him to pitch through three innings in a simulated game suggests he remains on track to handle 80-100 pitches by the first week of the regular season, which should allow him to be in the starting rotation.

SF Giants RHP Aaron Sanchez threw in a simulated game on Sunday.

There’s no denying Sanchez’s recent struggles. From 2017-2019, Sanchez completed just 272.1 innings across 55 starts and posted an abysmal 5.29 ERA (5.12 FIP). His walk and strikeout rates were both noticeably below average (4.8 walks and 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings) as well. However, Sanchez was one of the best young pitchers in baseball from 2014-2016 and after missing all of 2020 recovering from shoulder surgery, Sanchez touched 98 mph in a bullpen session for teams this offseason.

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The SF Giants clearly believe they can help Aaron Sanchez rekindle some of his early-career success. While he has yet to show off his talents in an official game in Scottsdale, after throwing a three-inning simulated game on Sunday, he is on track to make his spring training debut soon.

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