Buried near the bottom of Barry Jackson's mostly-NBA notes column is this:
- Gaby Sanchez (.318) is playing third base for at least a week at Triple A (he's in the middle of that stretch) in case the Marlins decide to replace Emilio Bonifacio.
I heard Rich Waltz talking about this -- though somewhat less specifically -- last week during a Marlins game, and meant to follow up then but didn't. But Bonifacio's still playing third base for the Marlins and Sanchez is still in Triple-A, which means this subject is still (as we say) "evergreen."
It's probably been a few weeks since I've mentioned this, so here goes again: Bonifacio has been an absolute disaster. Among the 23 third basemen with enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title (so far), Bonifacio ranks 21st in on-base percentage, 23rd in slugging percentage, and 23rd in OPS. He does have 11 steals ... but he's been caught trying four times and his defensive stats are lousy.
Bonifacio might not be the worst every-day player in the majors right now, but he's definitely in the conversation. And if you've got a guy in the conversation, don't you have to seriously consider getting him out of the conversation?
Meanwhile, Baseball America rated Sanchez as the Marlins' eighth-best prospect this spring, concluding with this:
- Having reached the majors for a brief look last September, Sanchez heads to spring training with an excellent shot at winning the starting first-base job. The Marlins dealt incumbent Mike Jacobs to the Royals in a salary-related move, but they also did so knowing Sanchez was ready to break through.
But Sanchez never really got a shot in spring training, batting .194 with zero homers while getting significantly fewer plate appearances than Bonifacio. That might have been because the Marlins -- temporarily, as it turns out -- had previously given up on Sanchez as a third baseman, and decided to go with Jorge Cantu and Ross Gload at first base.
Whatever. Sanchez turns 26 in September. His time is now. Thanks to Hanley Ramirez and a lineup full of average National League hitters -- Bonifacio being the lone exception -- the Marlins are fourth in the league in scoring and just a game under .500. Which is sort of interesting, since (as you might recall) it was the club's young pitching that was supposed to carry them (but hasn't). Every day with Bonifacio in the lineup and Sanchez in the minors is just another day that the Marlins seem to care little about winning.
(H/T: BTF's Newsstand)