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Tony Sanchez Returns to Triple-A, Pirates Recall Josh Harrison


The Pirates announced they have optioned Tony Sanchez to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday and recalled infielder Josh Harrison.

Tony Sanchez batting
Tony Sanchez returns to the minors after two Major League games. (Image Credit: David Hague)

Sanchez, 25, was called up one week ago to start as designated hitter for two games the Pirates were scheduled to play against left-handed pitchers, but Angels lefty Jason Vargas was placed on the disabled list with an injury. Sanchez started one game in Anaheim against right-hander Joe Blanton and one game against Seattle left-hander Joe Saunders, going 2-for-8 with a single and a double. The Pirates don’t need a DH until September.

From Tim:

Josh Harrison has been on fire in the month of June, with a .356/.385/.654 line in 104 at-bats. On the season with Indianapolis he has a .316/.371/.504 line in 250 at-bats. The problem is that Harrison has never carried his offense over to the majors, with a .248/.278/.354 line in 455 at-bats. Of course that triple slash line looks like an upgrade compared to Brandon Inge, who has a .207/.232/.272 line in 92 at-bats this year.
My guess is that Harrison is only up for a short amount of time. Alex Presley was optioned down to Triple-A last week, so he can’t come up until ten days pass. Jose Tabata is on a rehab assignment, and could be Harrison’s eventual replacement. You’d like to see Inge being replaced, with Harrison getting a shot. That would be a lot easier if Harrison carried his hot hitting in June over to the majors. Even with his poor career numbers, Harrison would be an upgrade over Inge.

Harrison is also 12th in the International League in OPS and keeps the Pirates at 13 position players, even though they only have four players (Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Travis Snider, Garrett Jones) who have been regular outfielders  in the Majors. Harrison has played 14 MLB games in the outfield.

Sanchez returns to his productive Triple-A season, where his .951 OPS is 3rd among all International League players. Sanchez has earned praise for his offensive surge from the Pirates’ general manager, who notes there is still progress for him to make defensively.

“He’s swung the bat very, very well,” GM Neal Huntington said in his last media session. “Throwing, we’ve had some challenges. His errors are high because he’s working through his throwing right now… Once he refines that, we’ve got a guy that can do some damage at the Major League level, and he’s coming along really well.”

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