Six years ago, Freddy Sanchez batted .344 and led the National League in that esteemed category.
The next year, he proved it wasn't a complete fluke by batting .304.
Since then, things haven't gone so well.
In 2009, Sanchez went from the Pirates to the Giants in a deadline deal, but missed big chunks of the stretch run with injuries. His 2010 season was book-ended by shoulder surgeries, between which he played in only 11 games. Last season was even worse, as Sanchez suffered a separated shoulder -- yes, another shoulder injury -- in June and missed the rest of the season.
And now, having not played yet in 2012, he's not going to play at all:
Freddy Sanchez had surgery today in Los Angeles with Dr Robert Watkins on his lower back. He is out for the season. #SFGiants— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) July 5, 2012
Well, at least it wasn't his shoulder again.
When Sanchez has been able to play, he's been pretty good. Since (but not including) his batting title, he's hit .290/.327/.406 in the majors, which isn't exciting but is good enough to keep a second baseman in clover. But at this point, Sanchez simply has to get healthy enough for a real chance to play. And it's not clear when that will happen again. Or if.
This season, the Giants have largely relied on Ryan Theriot and Emmanuel Burriss at second base, with the expected results.