Pirates Call Up Tony Sanchez, Demote Brandon Cumpton

Tony Sanchez

Tony Sanchez would be making his MLB debut if he joins the Pirates.

Catcher Tony Sanchez has been activated by the Pittsburgh Pirates, as first reported by Dan Zangrilli of 93.7 The Fan.

Sanchez had previously traveled to New York in May on the Pirates’ taxi squad in case Russell Martin needed to go on the disabled list, but he never officially joined the roster.

This season, Sanchez is hitting .306 with a .956 OPS for Triple-A Indianapolis, with Sanchez’s OPS good for 5th overall in the International League. Sanchez, 25, was listed as the Pirates’ No. 11 prospect on our midseason list, largely due to his strong defense.

[Update: 6:49 pm ET] The Pirates have officially activated Sanchez and optioned Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A. Cumpton made two strong starts in replacement of A.J. Burnett, but the Pirates need only four starters for the next week. Sanchez gets Pittsburgh back to its usual construction of 12 pitchers and 13 hitters for back-to-back series in American League ballparks.

As Zangrilli points out, Sanchez hits left-handed pitching very well. Sanchez has hit Triple-A lefties for a .456 on-base percentage and 1.130 OPS in 57 plate appearances this year, as well as a .382 on-base percentage and .865 OPS against Double-A and Triple-A lefties last year. Left-handed Jason Vargas was scheduled to start in Anaheim on Saturday, but he was just placed on the disabled list so it could be all right-handers for the Angels.

James Santelli

Author: James Santelli

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

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  • http://www.facebook.com/elikens Erick Likens

    Um, I had it first.

    Erick Likens ‏@Erick_Likens 2h
    Did @Tony26Montana get called up to @Pirates ??
    Collapse Reply Delete Favorite More
    12:02 PM – 21 Jun 13 · Details

    :)

  • kidic56

    Good bye Mike McKenry. Nice guys finish last.

    • deacs

      Do you think they’ll carry 3 catchers? Is he there to hit lefties for a series or two and then to be sent down? I’d prefer him to stay but I’m skeptical that they’re parting ways with the Fort. Crossing my fingers that he’s up for good though.

      • deacs

        Stay off the Twitter Tony. Please.

  • Buccos34

    What about this idea? Against AL competition, Sanchez catches and Martin’s the DH. Then, against NL competition, Russell takes a turn in RF when Sanchez catches. If Sanchez is up to it, he gets mentoring from Martin and the offense gets stronger. No need to give up prospects for Stanton.

    • BostonsCommon

      I don’t think anyone is going to confuse Russel Martin for Giancarlo Stanton in RF. But your take is interesting.

      • http://www.facebook.com/susanne.klichlangford Susanne Klich Langford

        …or play him at 3rd a few games against lefties. He has 10 career games there including a few this year.

  • BostonsCommon

    He’s not going to be in the 25 tonight is he?

    Who gets the ax, McHenry or Inge, or is Welker going back after his second cup of coffee, sans a pitch thrown outside of the pullpen?

    • Buccos34

      While they’re playing the Angels and Mariners, why not send down a pitcher and keep the extra bat? After the Sanchez test, either send him back down for some more work, or send McHenry down. Either way, bring a pitcher back up.

  • JRIcentral

    I bet is Cumpton.
    AJ might be ready to play in Seattle. And if not, you can always bring Cumpton back up for his next start!

  • BostonsCommon

    How does the Taxi Squad work? Can they just keep Cumpton around for a few days, or do they have to fly him back to Indy in the morning, and then have him fly back west on Monday for a start on Wednesday?

    • cschimmer8

      They can’t bring Cumpton back up for 10 days unless someone goes on the DL

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661881564 Bob Smith

    He is not in starting lineup but clint did put g sanchez on the card and its obvious he added the g

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    I wish they would cut Inge and replace him with – just about anyone in Indy – Harrison, d’Arnaud, Lambo, Hague – any of them would be an upgrade.

  • westonian420

    I’m afraid Cole will be joining Cumpton soon back in AAA

  • http://www.facebook.com/susanne.klichlangford Susanne Klich Langford

    What is the record for innings without a walk to start a career? Cole is at 13 already. Some dude from 1906 probably has it.

    – Fred Langford

  • westonian420

    I retract my earlier comment. Tonight we’re seeing a different Cole. NASTY!!!!