At the beginning of the season, Yolmer Sanchez endured both offensive and defensive struggles and White Sox fans (including myself) were demanding change. Known as a decent fielder throughout his career that can play many positions, he really dropped the ball (literally) early on at second base with three errors in the first five games of the season. He was slow to get going with the stick as well with a high strikeout rate and providing little to no power in April with a .266 slugging percentage.
This is terrible, but no reasonable replacements were acquired in the offseason to supplement Sanchez in a starting role that may be too much for him. But, the opportunity to sign DJ LeMahieu came and went, leaving Yolmer as our guy to start the season.
During Yolmer’s struggles, people wanted to see Jose Rondon get a crack at some of Yolmer’s playing time; and he’s certainly had his chance. However, Rondon’s “sneaky power” has been nonexistent, as over the last 28 days he has looked overmatched in 14 games played managing to slash just .152/.243/.152. As bad as Yolmer was to start the season, Rondon has been incrementally worse and he’s continued to sputter as he’s played third base in place of the injured Yoan Moncada.
At the end of the day, both are replacement level players that shouldn’t be playing consistently in the MLB. However, it’s nice to see that Yolmer has adjusted and is making a case to be the 25th man when this team gets fun.
After his slow start to the 2019 campaign, he is more in line with the respectable but not eye-opening numbers that he’s put up the past few seasons. He’s shored up his fielding while playing a decent second base, having made only one error since April 14. Over the past 30 or so days, he’s hitting at a .270/.349/.284 clip as well. Not known for his power, you’ll overlook his .284 slugging percentage (which is brutal, but he’s not supposed to be great as he’s a replacement level player) if he’s getting on base at a decent enough rate to turn the lineup back over to the top. We saw this in Thursday night’s 5-4 win over the Yankees as he started the four run fifth inning with a leadoff walk.
It’s clear that for the long term, Sanchez is at best a career utility player. He brings significant value in that he’s a switch hitter that can play multiple positions with decent speed and good clubhouse qualities. For now, it’s good to see him play marginally better and hopefully soon enough he’ll be a valuable piece for a contender, whether that’s here in Chicago or elsewhere.
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