LOS ANGELES, May 15, 2013 — The phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” could not be more true than in Major League Baseball. Two once proud teams that began the year with high expectations have fallen on hard times in the wins column, while finding themselves flush with losses.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a record of 19-22 and are sitting in third place in the National League East, while the Los Angeles Dodgers have a record of 16-22 and are dead last in the National League West, which appears to be one of the weakest divisions in baseball right now. The two teams share a need, which is pitching depth.
Thanks to the revolving door in baseball, two pitchers that really have no business anywhere near a pitcher’s mound are getting another chance to keep their career going. Both Jonathan Sanchez and Carlos Zambrano will get another shot.
The Philadelphia Phillies, who have lost Roy Halladay and John Lannan to injury, have signed troubled veteran Carlos Zambrano to a minor league deal. Carlos Zambrano last pitched with the Miami Marlins in 2012 and had a 7-10 record with an ERA of 4.49 and a 1.49 WHIP. He opened the season in the starting rotation for the Marlins, but was moved to the bullpen mid-season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who are also in need of pitching depth after losing Chad Billingsley for the year among others, have signed Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league contract. Sanchez started the year with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but was well hit with an 11.85 ERA and a gigantic 2.41 WHIP. The Pirates let Sanchez go after just 5 starts spread over 13 2/3 innings.
It remains to be seen if either pitcher will actually make it back to the big leagues. The Dodgers have had success in recent years in bringing pitchers back to life. Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will have his work cut out for him if Sanchez is able to make it out of AAA Albuquerque. Jonathan Sanchez does have a no-hitter in his career, which came in 2009 while he was with the San Francisco Giants.
There is no word on whether or not the Phillies have retained the services of a therapist to shadow Carlos Zambrano as he tries to make his return to baseball. The pitcher has a well-documented history of losing his temper and has directed that anger towards inanimate objects and teammates alike.
Fans of both teams have to be cringing at the thought of seeing either guy pitching for their major league teams. Expectations are low from both clubs, but there is little risk as only minor league contracts were signed.