The improvements didn't come immediately, but they have been made of late, prompting the Cardinals to recall Sanchez from Triple-A Memphis after releasing J.C. Romero on Monday. Sanchez worked a perfect inning in the club's 6-4 loss to the Cubs at Busch Stadium later in the day.
"He pitched much better after those first few rocky starts," Cardinals farm director John Vuch said. "He simplified his mechanics a bit. He's definitely refined himself and has thrown much better here."
Those mechanical simplifications included shortening up his motion, which has helped Sanchez keep a more repeatable delivery. Recently, the adjustments led to an increased number of swings and misses.
In 14 games with Memphis, Sanchez allowed 10 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits and 10 walks in 13 1/3 innings. He struck out 13. However, he did not give up a run in his last five appearances.
"I'm a little bit surprised," Sanchez said, when asked about the callup. "I'm going to try to be here for all season long."
Sanchez was with the Cardinals for an extended period last year. He made 26 appearances in 2011, posting a 3-1 record and 1.80 ERA. He also saved five games.