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.