Carlos Sanchez is (more or less) a hit in debut at second
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter August 22, 2014 10:46PM
New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli waits as Chicago White Sox's Jose Abreu, center, is greeted by Carlos Sanchez (77) after hitting a three-run home run off of Yankees starting pitcher Shane Greene that scored Sanchez and Alejandro De Aza in the first inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) ORG XMIT: NYY106
Updated: August 23, 2014 2:12AM
NEW YORK — On the first day of the post-Gordon Beckham era, Carlos Sanchez had himself a nice little debut at second base.
Sanchez, batting second, singled in his first three at-bats on Friday — but full disclosure here — the hits included a broken bat, a bloop and an infield roller toward third before he lined out to center field. Sanchez also played every bit as well as Beckham would have at second, looking comfortable in the big-time surroundings of Yankee Stadium and starting a slick double play in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Yankees.
Beckham’s trade to the Angels for a player to be named or cash considerations made it possible for the Sox to get on with pushing their young core forward and evaluating talent such as Sanchez, a switch-hitter who batted .293 with 19 doubles, seven homers and 57 RBI in 110 games for Class AAA Charlotte. Sanchez looks like a good-hands defender with good range and skill at turning the double play.
What else will Sox fans see in the 22-year-old Venezuelan?
“Someone who gives 100 percent and effort out on the field day-in and day-out,’’ Sanchez said through a translator, “in everything he has to do whether it is offensively or defensively or on the bases, whatever. That’s what [the fans] will see.’’
With a fourth consecutive defeat, the Sox (59-69) fell to a season-low 10 games below .500 after right-hander Daniel Webb gave up a bases loaded, two-out single to Martin Prado in the ninth.
Jose Abreu ripped a three-run homer against Shane Greene in the first, his 33rd of the year, but the Sox wasted several opportunities to tack on. Sox starter John Danks gave up three runs in five-plus innings, including a two-run homer by Prado in the third
Sanchez had played one game for the Sox — on the day before the All-Star break — filling in at shortstop for an ailing Alexei Ramirez and going 0-for-5 while making an error. But he looked more at ease at second.
“He has a lot of tools that are major-league ready,’’ manager Robin Ventura said.
For all the buzz about prospect Micah Johnson, who won’t get a September call-up because of a hamstring injury, Sanchez might be more major-league ready because of his defense.
“He’s a very athletic kid who can play second, short and third. He makes that routine play — and makes the highlight play,’’ said third base coach Joe McEwing, who also called Sanchez “a student of the game.”
“It will be a little adjustment period with the level of competition and speed of the game,’’ McEwing said. “We’ll see how he reacts to it.’’
Meanwhile, Beckham reports to the Angels on Saturday.
“It was probably inevitable that he was going to be with another team next year anyway, so it’s just kind of a jump-start to that for him,’’ Paul Konerko said. “I look at it as a positive. Where he’s at in his career, the way it had unfolded in the last couple of years, this can only be a good thing for him.”
NOTES: Jose Abreu has 93 RBI, tied for the major-league lead with the Red Sox’ David Ortiz.
◆ Right-hander Javy Guerra is with the team and will be put back on the 25-man roster Saturday after coming off the bereavement list. Lefty Eric Surkamp was optioned to Charlotte.
◆ Shortstop Tim Anderson (fractured right wrist), the Sox’ first-round draft choice in 2013, was activated from the disabled list and promoted to Birmingham. He was 3-for-3 with a double in his AA debut.