Revert back to July 10, 2009. After struggling earlier in that season, Jonathan Sanchez, after being banished to the bullpen, spot started for the injured Randy Johnson.

The result on that fateful night was a dazzling performance against the San Diego Padres, as he no-hit them in an 8-0 rout. Not a single walk tainted Sanchez’s line.

Fast forward to Oct. 23, 2010. The Giants are battling the Phillies in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia, needing a big start from their left-handed hurler.

Although the Giants ended up winning the clinching NLCS game, Jonathan Sanchez had a night to forget, lasting just two innings, while walking two and surrendering two runs. His night came to a close after he drilled Chase Utley on the back, leading to a Sanchez/Utley confrontation where Utley flipped the baseball back to the mound after he was hit.

Such is the inconsistency of the Giants’ left-handed enigma, Jonathan Sanchez. On one night, he can look just as good as Lincecum or Cain, but on another night, he makes Todd Wellemeyer look like Cy Young.

One might think of Sanchez like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. While he has all the upside in the world and had a fine 2010 season, his immaturity showed in the postseason, and he led the National League in walks.

Will Sanchez show progress in 2011, or will he regress?

Here are five reasons why one might be high on Jonathan Sanchez and five reasons why one might be skeptical about the left-hander.





This article was featured on the blog Talking Giants Baseball.

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