After many, many weeks of clamoring for the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ top catching prospect to be promoted, it has finally happened. The Pirates have recalled Tony Sanchez and demoted starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton to make room on the 25-man roster.
Sanchez was in the midst of a breakout offensive campaign with Triple-A Indianapolis before his promotion to the MLB. In 211 plate appearances, Sanchez hit for a .306/.389/.563 slash line. His best numbers come against lefties, however, so to get the most production from Sanchez, using him primarily against southpaws would be the best choice of action. In only 57 plate appearances this season against lefties, Sanchez hit .367/.456/.673. He absolutely mashes lefties. Of his 18 hits against lefties, nine of them have gone for doubles and two have been home runs. His 2013 Triple-A season has seen Sanchez hitting well for both average and power.
Sanchez is mostly known for his great defense, but in 2013, according to people with much more knowledge of Sanchez than myself, he has had issues on his throws to second base. However, no matter what his issues are defensively, he can’t be any worse than Michael McKenry has been.
With that being said, I don’t think Sanchez will see much time at catcher with the Pirates. He is probably only going to be on the roster in American League parks, playing DH. Once the Pirates get through this stretch of inter-league games, he will probably be demoted. As much as I think he should permanently replace McKenry on the roster, I just can’t imagine this happening.