Diaz had a breakout season in 2014. (Photo credit: David Hague)

Elias Diaz Promoted to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted catcher Elias Diaz from Altoona to Indianapolis. Ramon Cabrera, who was recently claimed off waivers, replaces Diaz on the Altoona roster.

Diaz has a .328/.378/.445 line in 326 at-bats with Altoona this year. Earlier today I wrote about his progression, looking back at the scouting report on him coming into the season. He’s always had the strong defense, but the hitting this year has come together. He has emerged as the top backup catching option in the future for the Pirates, with a chance to become a starter if his offense keeps up at this high level.

Diaz should spend the first half of the 2015 season with Indianapolis, and could make the majors next year. For now, he should split time with Tony Sanchez behind the plate in Triple-A.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • derekbellstutu

    It will be interesting to see who gets the lion’s share of playing time behind the dish.

    • Lee Young

      you’re probably a nice guy, but just SEEING that avatar when you post makes me wanna hurl (things?) :) :) :) :)

      • pilbobuggins

        Watch out,jaboo know vodoo and he curse you.lol ( d bell looks like the dude from major league)

        • Lee Young

          he does somewhat resemble him…..lol

  • Lee Young

    He should (imo) play over Sanchez who continues to have throwing yips.

    He is our best defensive catcher in the minors and has really started to hit.

    If we don’t sign Martin, I say we make Diaz our #1 catcher (his defense is MLB caliber right now) in 2015 and hope the hitting aspect catches up.

    Sanchez/Stewart combo would make me cringe…..


    • leowalter

      Lee I concentrated on watching him behind the plate last night for 6 innings, and physically he could be playing MLB right now for sure. Of course I don’t know about his calls and how he handles the game mentally, but Carlos Garcia is really high on him for those aspects also.

      • emjayinTN

        ly/lw: I think a big message has been sent to Tony Sanchez – get better or get out of the way. Diaz looks like a nice prospect, and his all around skills as a Catcher would be greatly enhanced by some time alongside Russell Martin. Glad to see the Pirates make this move – it is aggressive, but necessary.

        I guess the Pirates are still playing dueling mind games with Alen Hanson, a 21 year old middle infielder with tons of potential. The present is not that bad either as he is among the team leaders in 5 offensive categories – .279 batting average/21 doubles/11 triples/10 HR’s/56 RBI’s from a switchhitting leadoff batter. I think they should keep him at AA until he quits making errors, or another way of saying that is “the floggings shall continue until morale improves.” Some players need a pat on the back and others need a kick in the butt – let’s hope we know what will inspire the kid rather than break him.

        • leowalter

          emjay : not making excuses,but Hanson seems to make many of the mental mistakes that Marte makes, but in different circumstances. Hanson’s tend to affect his defense, while Marte’s show up at bat and on the bases more. I think these mental type mistakes come from guys who have plenty of physical tools,but do not really know the game all that well yet and tend to lose focus.

  • pilbobuggins

    With the quality depth the pirates have at catcher it makes me feel a bit more comfortable with the likelyhood of losing martin. Not happy,just comfortable.

  • aj21psu

    What about testing Sanchez out at 1B since he is still prone to throwing issues?

    • Jared

      If Sanchez could hit we could find a place for him, but he’s not a worldbeater when it comes to the bat either.

  • st1300b

    More likely just a September call up for Sanchez so Diaz takes the spot?

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