Sanchez angling for 'pen role; Luciano muscles up

March 23rd, 2024

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There is something in the air in Valencia, Venezuela, that helps to foster high-caliber ball players. From Keibert Ruiz to Francisco Cervelli, Valencia has produced a total of 42 Major League baseball players. It continues to be well-represented, with six current players actively playing today.

One of the latest products from the Venezuelan city is left-handed reliever . He joins Wilmer Flores as the other Valencian currently playing with the Giants. The 23-year-old has put himself into bullpen consideration for the Major League roster after an impressive Spring Training.

“I always try to do my best in order to get something better, and since the first day I’ve tried to do everything as best as I can,” he said in Spanish.

Sanchez played for Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento in 2023. He sported a cumulative 3.03 ERA at the end of the season, accumulating 80 strikeouts in 74 1/3 innings. On the mound, Sanchez allowed 53 hits and 29 runs (25 earned). He wanted the spring to be an extension of how he ended the season last year: Strong, healthy and improving on his pitching.

“Trying to attack the batters more, and I think I’ve done it really well this Spring Training,” he said prior to the Giants' 11-5 loss to the D-backs in their Spring Training finale on Saturday.

Check, check, and check.

Sanchez was called up from Minor League camp last spring and made three Cactus League appearances for the Giants in 2023. He has yet to make a Major League appearance during the regular season.

Sanchez made his presence known in his first full Major League camp, making eight appearances this spring. With a 1.80 ERA across 10 innings, the left-hander tallied 13 strikeouts, allowing four runs, four hits, and one home run.

“He’s come out of the pack a little bit to give himself a chance here, and we’re taking a hard look at him,” said manager Bob Melvin after Wednesday’s loss against the Reds.

After Ethan Small went down with a moderate right oblique strain, Sanchez remains one of the only two healthy left-handed pitchers on the Major League roster. He is well-positioned to take a spot in the bullpen as a second lefty reliever beside Taylor Rogers.

“Guys from the left side are important,” Melvin said. “He continues to perform well. He’s here still, another guy that’s got a chance to make the team.”

The competition for the three bullpen spots is still wide open, but Sanchez is excited for whatever may come.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in these next few days, but I pray everything will turn out well,” he said.

Luciano hits second homer in three days

, the Giants' top position-player prospect and the No. 39 prospect in the Majors per MLB Pipeline, is getting hot right at the end of Spring Training. Luciano hit a home run right off the scoreboard in Saturday's game against the D-backs. It was just his second spring long ball, but came two days after he hit his first in a win over Milwaukee on Thursday. In 17 spring games, Luciano hit .237 with two homers and nine RBIs.

Luciano has shown that he is still very much competing for the everyday shortstop position during the last week of spring action. The 22-year-old suffered a minor hamstring injury toward the beginning of camp, causing him to miss out some games and get off to a slow start.

“He’s playing his best baseball right now,” Melvin said. “Credit to him for sticking with it and playing hard. Now he’s getting the fruits of his hard work.”


finished his spring with a 4.26 ERA, striking out six batters in his final Spring Training outing on Saturday. In 3 1/3 frames, he allowed four runs (earned), four walks and five hits.

finished his spring with a bang, hitting his first home run of camp against the D-backs. He went 3-for-3 with one RBI.

went scoreless during his one frame outing on Saturday, striking out two of three batters faced.