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.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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?

    • 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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

    🙂

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