The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted right-handed pitcher Angel Sanchez to Indianapolis, according to our Altoona writer Sean McCool. Sanchez was originally acquired by the Pirates at the end of last season as a waiver claim. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster over the off-season after clearing waivers. The Pirates liked him enough to give him a look in the majors during Spring Training, and then gave him a shot in the Altoona rotation.
Sanchez has a 2.79 ERA in 77.1 innings this year, with a 49:19 K/BB ratio. He struggled a bit in May, after posting outstanding numbers in April. He rebounded in June, with a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings, along with a 13:4 K/BB ratio. That includes tonight’s outing, which saw him give up four runs in 7.2 innings, with five strikeouts and a walk.
Pitching Coach Justin Meccage talked after the game about what Sanchez has developed to be deserving of the promotion.
“Lately, the curveball has been the pitch [that we have been looking to develop],” said Pitching Coach Justin Meccage. “It’s the separation of speeds. Everything he throws is pretty hard. His change up, cutter, and fastball are all hard pitches. The changeup speed for a starter is huge. That has been the pitch lately that we have been working on, and we’ve been using it earlier in counts to counter the fastball.”
Sanchez said that he was stunned to hear the news of his promotion after the game. Manager Tom Prince called him into his office to tell him, and Sanchez said that he “could barely talk when he heard the news”.
After jumping around four different organizations last year, Sanchez said that the Pirates have made him feel like this was home, and they have supported him in his development as a starting pitcher. They asked him to be able to control both sides of the plate with both his fastball and breaking pitches, something that Sanchez has been able to do at the Double-A level this year.
“It feels like home here. They gave me the opportunity to pitch here, and they wanted me to get better every time,” said Sanchez. “This organization had made me feel comfortable. They wanted me to compete and do the best I could every day.”
Sanchez was promoted after his outing on Sunday night in Altoona, where he went 7.2 innings, allowing four earned runs. Statistically, it wasn’t his best outing; however, three runs were scored from two infield hits and two ground balls finding holes. He threw 68 strikes on 101 pitches for a strike efficiency of over 67%.