This isn’t really a big surprise, but Clint Hurdle announced today to the media that Tony Sanchez is on the team, due to Chris Stewart’s hamstring injury. The Pirates announced earlier this week that Stewart would need about two weeks off, which would have pushed him up to the start of the season. He will probably need some rehab time after that to get built up for the season, which is why it was easy to see that Sanchez would at least start the year in Pittsburgh.
Hurdle’s announcement today confirms this. Sanchez has had an impressive Spring, showing a lot of improvements with his arm and his defense. I think Stewart will get the backup job when he’s healthy, just for catching depth purposes, but this will be a good opportunity for Sanchez to try and change the Pirates’ minds about him, and maybe work himself into the plans behind the plate.