Opt Out Day for Jonathan Sanchez

Sanchez wasn't much of a hitter with Pittsburgh. He's not much of a pitcher, either, but here he is specifically not being a hitter. (via)

Sanchez wasn’t much of a hitter with Pittsburgh. He’s not much of a pitcher, either, but here he is specifically not being a hitter. (via)

Updated: as noted by Bill Shaikin, Sanchez won’t be added to the team today, as we expected. He can still opt out of the organization if he chooses. Original post remains.

The Dodgers are red-hot, closer to first place than Washington or Cincinnati or Tampa Bay — despite still being in last place, because NL West — and so having an off-day today seems like more of an annoyance than the usual welcome respite it’s been for most of the season.

With the team running on all cylinders right now, you wouldn’t think we’d be spending part of an off-day talking about a mediocre Triple-A pitcher who is working on his fifth organization in the last three years, but contractual obligations continue no matter how the team is performing on the field.

Today being July 1, pitcher Jonathan Sanchez has the right to opt out if he isn’t added to the big league roster (update: which he won’t be.)  Sanchez signed with the Dodgers back on May 15 after being cut loose by Pittsburgh, but spent so much time in extended spring training that he has only made two starts for Albuquerque, one last Monday and one yesterday. He lasted just three innings in his debut, allowing six earned runs against Round Rock, but was better yesterday, tossing five scoreless innings (with four walks) in Memphis. His velocity, reportedly, has been good, though his control has been lacking.

If he’s not added to the team, Sanchez can choose to walk away as a free agent or negotiate a new opt-out date for later in the season. My guess is that Sanchez is not getting recalled today, not when Stephen Fife has been so effective and there’s no basis to think that Sanchez is better than Chris Capuano, even including Capuano’s disaster against the Philles.

I also don’t imagine that Ned Colletti bothered replacing Matt Guerrier & Peter Moylan with young players over the weekend just to send Jose Dominguez or Chris Withrow right back down for Sanchez, but we do all know how Colletti likes to keep as many players as possible under his control. I suppose it’s possible they’ll invent some reason to disable Brandon League, though even that seems less than likely. Frankly, let’s all hope this situation passes with no news whatsoever, but I suppose it’s worth monitoring.