He is one of the most likable people in the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ organization, and Tony Sanchez is now becoming likable on the baseball field. He has always been a fun follow on Twitter, but he has always been viewed by some fans as a major draft bust. Early in the 2014 season, Sanchez has been one of the more reliable bats in the Pirates’ lineup.
Despite being the backup catcher, behind Russell Martin, Sanchez has found himself in the center of several big run-scoring situations. He leads the team thus far with four RBIs. Sanchez brought in the game-winning run on Sunday afternoon and he won the game a few nights ago with a walk-off single. With a roster that is lacking offense, it’s going to be difficult to send Sanchez back to the minor-leagues.
It seems like the Pirates are probably going to send Sanchez to Triple-A when veteran catcher Chris Stewart is healthy anyway. No matter what Sanchez does, the end-result is likely going to be the same. Sanchez has minor-league options, Stewart doesn’t. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington loves the term “asset allocation,” which basically means keeping as many players in the organization as possible. Why release someone when you don’t have to?
I had been on board with letting Stewart assume the backup role, but I’m starting to re-think things. Stewart will bring outstanding defense behind the plate, but having a reliable bat on the bench is more important than the good glove. I’m not sure how much of a factor Stewart’s defense would be when he would be starting just once a week.