Rob Biertempfel is reporting at the Trib this morning that Tony Sanchez broke his jaw in a bar fight about three months ago while playing in the Florida Instructional League. He also notes that Sanchez appeared fine at minicamp three weeks ago. The math in this case would appear to indicate that Sanchez’s broken jaw is less serious this time around, though being allowed to attend minicamp isn’t quite the same thing as being cweleared to play.
Everyone is, of course, referring to this as Sanchez’s second “incident” after last year’s mini Twitter furor, when Sanchez said some dumb things and the team got made and told him to shut down his Twitter account. I still don’t think that a 23-year old saying dumb things on Twitter is an “incident” because I say dumb things on Twitter all the time and I’m 27 now. I do think that a 23-year old getting his jaw broken in a bar fight is an “incident” because, well, I’ve managed to avoid that to this point in my life.
The biggest concern, of course, is that one of the potential causes for Sanchez’s complete power outage last year was that he never fully regained the weight that he lost when he broke his jaw in the summer of 2010 and he wore down over the course of the season. Thinking that he’d have a fall in the instructional leagues, a winter to condition, and an invite to camp was more or less the best hope that he’d rebound this year. If he spent even more time this winter eating poorly because of another jaw injury, well, that’s worrisome.
It’s not the end of the world, of course. He’s not technically missing any time and we have no idea how serious this injury was because the team, as per usual, is refusing to comment on it. It is disappointing, though. At this point last year, Sanchez was Baseball America’s 46th best prospect. He had a rough year, but it was the sort of rough year that you just kind of hoped would make him bear down and work harder over the winter and bounce back strongly in 2012. And instead, he broke his jar in a bar fight.
Disappointing, yeah. Like that’s something Pirate fans have never experienced before.