MIAMI — Brian Sanches made his Major League debut in a Phillies uniform on June 1, 2006, pitching two scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one.
But he shuffled back-and-forth between Triple-A and the big leagues before signing a deal with the Nationals in 2007.
It was much of the same for one year in Washington.
His big break came with the Florida Marlins, where he recorded a 10-5 record and 2.92 ERA in three seasons.
This past offseason, the 33-year-old right-hander signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies.
“A little 180, almost full circle,” Sanches said. “I loved this organization when I was in here. They’re great to me, they gave me my first opportunity in the big leagues. I was real excited to come back out here and try to help them out.”
Last season, Sanches made two spot starts when the Marlins’ staff faced injuries and lacked ready starting arms in the Minors. He went 5 1/3 total innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits.
“It was a strange year last year,” Sanches said. “I was kind of out of my comfort zone. I went from the previous two years as the set-up guy — two innings every now and then — and then having two spot starts, a four-inning stint, three innings. It was different and took a little bit of an adjustment.”
Though he opened the year in Philly’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he pitched in 21 games — 32 2/3 innings — with a 3-1 record and 2.48 ERA, Sanches was recalled last week.
He hopes to provide stability to a bullpen in need. Philadelphia relievers’ collective 4.57 ERA is tied for third worst in baseball with the Cardinals, just in front of the Marlins (4.70) and Mets (4.93).
“There’s been a little bit of inconsistency, and from a reliever’s standpoint, you’re two outings away from either being demoted or gone, so that’s just the life of a bullpen,” Sanches said. “They’re looking for consistency, and I felt the last three years I’ve given a lot of consistency and [just] do the same things that allowed me to have that success. That’s just attack guys, try to get them out and not walk guys or pitch around them.”