Saturday, July 4, 2009

Who is Ryan Sadowski?

There is no doubt that the box score vultures are zeroing in on San Francisco Giants starter, Ryan Sadowski. Let them have him. This 26-year-old right-hander’s path to the majors reminds us a lot of Lucas French, who we profiled just yesterday. The difference being is that Sadowski is generation a little bit of buzz by his performance over his first two starts:

6/28@Mil6 IP4 H0 ER3 BB2 SO
7/3Hou7 IP3 H0 ER1 BB4 SO
Total2 GS13 IP7 H0 ER4 BB6 SO

Surely, 0 earned runs over 2 starts is going to garner some attention. However, you should be paying more attention to what his statistics looked like before he got here.

Sadowski_picnikIn 6 minor league seasons, Sadowski has a 4.67 ERA in 153 G, of which he started 69. His career SO/BB ratio is just over 2.0. Looking over his career, he has been bounced back and forth from starter to reliever, settling in as a starter this year. Competing in the Pacific Coast League since the start of the season, we have to admit that Ryan has performed admirably in a renowned hitter’s league, keeping his number of hits allowed to an impressive 65 in 72.1 IP. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, in the San Franciso Chronicle on June 28, “…described Sadowski as a fastball-slider-changeup pitcher who throws about 90 mph. Sadowski attracted interest from a team in Japan this season, but vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said the Giants rebuffed the Japanese request to buy his contract.” That’s all well and good Bruce, but we can’t ignore that Sadowski’s arrival to majors had more to do with San Fran’s need for a started on June 28 due to Jonathan Sanchez’s demotion to the bullpen. The club has no interest in rushing uberprospects Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson, both of whom were just promoted to Double-A Connecticut in May. In fact, as beat writer Chris Haft reported on June 24, “Sadowski has been outperformed at Triple-A by right-hander Kevin Pucetas … But Pucetas last pitched on Thursday, so returning on Sunday would give him just two days' rest, half of his usual complement.”

It looks to us that the Giants were looking to (A) get Sanchez out of the rotation, and (B) fill Sanchez’s spot until they could come up with a plan. That plan probably featured Pucetas, who represented the USA in the 2008 All-Star Futures Game. This year, the 24-year-old has made the leap from A-Adv to AAA with enormous success by going 8 and 2 with a 3.17 ERA in 96.2 innings. But you know what they say about the best laid plans? Ryan Sadowski certainly does.

At this point, the Giants have to stick with Sadowski until they know what it is they have, exactly. Eventually, Sadowski will give up an earned run in a game. Our guess, he’ll give up a lot of them.

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