MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 19: Brian Sanches #44 of the Florida Marlins pitches during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Sun Life Stadium on May 19, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Needing some minor league depth for a suddenly-beleaguered bullpen, the Houston Astros turned to a guy with Southeast Texas roots. Brian Sanches, who pitched with the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this season, agreed to a contract offer with Houston Tuesday, Sanches confirmed to the Port Arthur News on Thursday. He will be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City and form some much needed depth in the bullpen at the Astros highest-level minor league affiliate.
Sanches had been up with the Phillies earlier this season but was sent back to Triple-A when Roy Halladay came off the disabled list. He sports a 9.95 ERA in 6 1/3 innings this season with five strikeouts and three walks. Sanches has pitched for seven seasons in the majors with a 7.9 K/9 rate and a 3.75 career ERA. Sanches had his most success with the Florida Marlins in a three-year stretch from 2009 through 2011.
It sounds like Sanches won't be coming up to the majors immediately, but may be some ready-made depth in case Wilton Lopez has to go on the DL or CoCo Cordero keeps, you know, being CoCo. Here's the money quote from the article:
"The obvious reason is it’s close to home," he said. "As many young pitchers and players as they have on their team, it would seem like they could use a veteran. They didn’t make me any promises but it sounds like if I pitch well for Oklahoma City I’ll get a chance with them. Honestly, it’s great news. I’m really excited."
So, doesn't sound like Jason Stoffel will get the call yet, but Sanches could be joining the bullpen later this month/year.