01/17/2019 11:07 AM
CLEBURNE, Texas (Jan. 17, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Thursday the signing of veteran right-handed pitcher Jesus Sanchez to a contract for the 2019 season.
“Jesus is a veteran arm with plenty of Triple-A and international experience,” manager Brent Clevlen said. “He showed last year that he’s capable of filling a lot of different roles, but with his repertoire of pitches and the way he pounds the strike zone we expect him to be one of our frontline starters heading into this season.”
Sanchez joined the Railroaders in mid-June during the 2018 season and quickly established himself as one of the more reliable arms on the Cleburne staff. The 31-year old made 25 appearances, including three starts, and finished the year 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA. Over the course of 44 innings, Sanchez struck out 49 while walking only 11. The right-hander also limited opponents to a .267 batting average, surrendering 46 hits in the 44 innings.
Sanchez was at his most dominant in his final outing of the season on September 1, twirling six shutout frames against the Texas AirHogs while recording a franchise-record 12 strikeouts. In the second inning of that game, Sanchez was one pitch away from an immaculate inning, striking out the side on ten pitches. He also struck out the side in the third, which combined with a punchout to end the first inning, gave Sanchez another franchise-record with seven consecutive strikeouts.
One of Sanchez’s best attributes was his versatility, showcasing the ability to work as a short-stint reliever or operate for extending innings. Twice the native Venezuelan tossed three scoreless frames out of the bullpen (7/29 vs. Gary, 8/14 vs. Texas), and all told he allowed runs in only six of 22 relief outings.
Sanchez started 2018 with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League, going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 bullpen appearances totaling ten innings. 2018 was his first foray into independent baseball, having spent the previous ten professional seasons in the affiliated ranks, though not entirely as a pitcher. Sanchez was originally signed by the New York Yankees as a catcher in 2006, and was exclusively a position player until the 2009 season, when the Philadelphia Phillies converted him to the mound.
The transition stuck, and Sanchez delivered several outstanding seasons in the minors for Philadelphia, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Miami Marlins. His best campaign came in 2013, when Sanchez posted a 2.83 ERA in 48 bullpen appearances at Triple-A Nashville in the Brewers system. After the 2014 season, Sanchez was released by the Marlins and spent the next four seasons pitching in his native Venezuela for Magallanes and Lara.
Sanchez owns strong career numbers across the board, logging a 46-38 record and 3.59 ERA in 401 pitching appearances, 69 as a starter. In 759.0 innings, the righty has piled up 569 strikeouts and 254 walks, a rate of well over 2:1 and checking in at just over three walks per nine innings. At the plate, Sanchez also has 74 professional hits on his career ledger, posting a .215 batting average and one home run.
The 3rd season of Railroaders baseball and the club’s pursuit of its first division title kicks off with a four-game home series against the Sioux Falls Canaries, beginning on Thursday, May 16. For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.