Sanchez acknowledges frustration with shoulder

Sanchez acknowledges frustration with shoulder
March 19, 2012, 10:27 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Second baseman Freddy Sanchez acknowledged the growing possibility he will not be ready to take the field on opening day, and was candid in expressing his frustration about the lack of progress with his surgically repaired right shoulder.

"We're getting late here," said Sanchez, who was 1 for 5 with a single up the middle as the DH in a minor league game on Monday. "It's got to be in all of our minds, whether, 'Hey, will I be out there or not?'

"Even a couple weeks ago, there was no doubt in my mind I'd be out there. But you get closer and ... you've got to keep your options open. I want to get out there as soon as I can. ... I've done as much as I can to get back. I really felt a month ago that opening day was not even a question."

Sanchez has not impressed the Giants coaching staff on the two occasions when he took full infield practice, including cutoffs, relays and turning the pivot on double plays. Sanchez thanked manager Bruce Bochy for telling him that he looked too tentative in those drills.

Bochy first suggested on Sunday that Sanchez was becoming a major question mark for the opener. The 34-year-old and three-time All-Star isn't disagreeing with his manager on that point, either.

"The big thing is the double plays," Sanchez said. "I'm not getting as much on my throws as I should."

Sanchez said he hasn't had a setback with his shoulder, and there is no pain in the area where he dislocated it while diving for a ground ball June 8.

"It's when you overcompensate in other areas, you get little things elsewhere," he said. "Overall, things have gone well. I don't notice the hesitance. I don't feel it. But obviously, I've got to get over that hurdle."

Would "devastated" be an accurate word if Sanchez is unable to play on opening day?

"Oh, definitely," he said. "It's just been a long, long process and recovery to get back. I'd be lying if I didn't say it wears on you. Mentally and physically, it just wears on you."

Although the Giants are light on right-handed bats, it's likely that Sanchez would begin the season on the disabled list if he cannot play the field. The Giants probably wouldn't carry him just to pinch hit, especially if Ryan Theriot shows enough to make the club.

"I probably won't have a say in that, anyway," Sanchez said.

Neither Sanchez nor the Giants could answer when he'll even attempt to take infield practice again. The tightening of the shoulder capsule is a surgery more commonly done on NFL players; at least one former Giants prospect, Marcus Sanders, had his career end after the procedure robbed him of any functional arm strength.

But Sanchez insisted his return is a matter of when, not if.

"I'm not the only one who's had the surgery and come back from it," he said. "I know I'm going to. It's just a matter of when."

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