SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Giants second baseman Freddy Sanchez underwent left shoulder surgery and might not be ready by opening day.
Manager Bruce Bochy confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday night that Sanchez had a recent arthroscopic procedure. Bochy first told KNBR radio of Sanchez’s surgery.
Sanchez had left knee surgery late in the 2009 season.
Bochy said Sanchez might not be fully recovered by opening day.
“He’s going to be a little delayed,” Bochy said in a phone interview. “It’ll be close if he can go opening day or not.”
The 32-year-old Sanchez was bothered by injuries to his left shoulder and left knee last season after joining the Giants on July 29 in a trade from Pittsburgh and played in only 25 games with San Francisco.
San Francisco acquired Sanchez to help them make a playoff push, but he has spent more time injured than on the field and the Giants missed the postseason for a sixth straight year. Sanchez has repeatedly called that “disappointing” and understands why fans were frustrated.
This is a tough development for a team that seemed to have its 2010 lineup all but set. Catcher Bengie Molina just agreed to return on a $4.5 million, one-year contract that includes the potential to earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses based on games started.
Sanchez said late in the season he was eager to get off to a fresh start in 2010 fully healthy – but that goal will be tough to meet now.
Sanchez signed a $12 million, two-year contract extension with San Francisco on Oct. 30. He batted .293 with seven home runs and 41 RBIs last season in 111 games for the two teams.
He had surgery in early October to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Bochy said last week Sanchez would bat in the No. 2 hole behind leadoff man Aaron Rowand. San Francisco will now likely use Juan Uribe at second during Sanchez’s absence.
Earlier this month, the Giants and Uribe finalized a $3.25 million, one-year contract. Uribe was a non-roster invitee to spring training last year but emerged as one of the team’s most steady players down the stretch. He began the 2009 campaign as a backup but wound up playing in 122 games at third, shortstop and second for San Francisco. He batted .289 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs.
Uribe was a big reason the Giants stayed in the NL wild-card chase well into September.
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