“I have no intention of going back after one year. I want to play baseball in Korea for as long as I can for the next 2-3 years.”
Foreign pitcher Ricardo Sanchez, who joined Hanwha as a substitute, was born in 1997 and is only 26 years old. As the youngest foreign player in the KBO League, he is the youngest after KIA pitcher Bo Takahashi in 2021 (24 years old at the time) and SK Lotte pitcher Brock Dykson in 2019 (25 years old at the time).
Sanchez, a left-hander from Venezuela who started his career by signing an amateur free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels in July 2013, experienced three major league games (5⅓ innings) with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2020 Corona 19 shortened season. He rehabilitated after undergoing elbow ligament splice surgery in 2021, and announced his health recovery by digesting a full season in the minor leagues last year.
Sanchez, who started 133 out of 140 games in eight minor league seasons, signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox in February of this year. After throwing three games at Triple A under the White Sox, he received an offer from Hanwha. Hanwha, which was looking for a replacement for Birch Smith, who had left after one game due to shoulder pain before the opening game, was in an urgent situation, and Sanchez boarded a plane to Korea without much thought.
After making his last appearance in Triple A on the 14th of last month, he signed an official contract with Hanwha on the 20th. After entering Korea on the 26th, he joined the squad on the 28th, and on the 30th, he completed his actual preparations with his first pitching in the bullpen. Hanwha, who was in a hurry with one pitcher, was able to relax with Sanchez, who joined as soon as possible.
Sanchez said, “Hanwha needed help, and I wanted to come to Korea, so I came here. I heard that the team was in a very difficult situation, so I made the decision a little faster.” I want to be,” he said. 스포츠토토
For Hanwha, which has been at the bottom for the past three years in a row and has fallen to 10th this year, winning the postseason is a goal that is too far from reality. However, Sanchez did not come to Korea with the intention of staying for a while. I have a strong will to go on a long run. He said, “I have no intention of going back after only one year in Korea. I want to play baseball in Korea for as long as I can for the next 2-3 years. I want to be loved by Hanwha fans as a good player and a good person. It’s a difficult time for the team right now, but we’ll get out of trouble soon, so I hope you continue to support us.”
Sanchez, who has a strong will to succeed in Korea, entered Korea with his wife and son. He will soon have his sister-in-law come in as well. He said, “Since before, my sister-in-law liked Korea, saying that it is a clean and safe country. My sister-in-law will also come back to Korea sooner or later.”
Meanwhile, on the 30th of last month, Sanchez threw 25 pitches in bullpen pitching in front of head coach Carlos Subero at Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park. A maximum of 147.9 km, an average of 145.4 km, four-seam and two-seam fastballs (15), slider, changeup (more than 4), and curve (2) were tested.
Sanchez said, “It was my first bullpen pitching, and I am satisfied. Along with adapting to the mound, he focused on pitching each type of pitch. He said, “I will improve my condition to the best every day according to the pitching schedule in the future.” The date has not been confirmed, but it is possible to start the actual game within this week. Coach Subero hoped that “Sanchez would throw 6-7 innings each and ease the defensive burden of the bullpen and fielders.”