The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated Chris Stewart from the 15-day disabled list, and have optioned Tony Sanchez to Triple-A. The move was expected, once Stewart returned from his knee injury, which he suffered during Spring Training. I broke down the reasons for sending down Sanchez for Stewart about two weeks ago.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Another dumb move……what more does Sanchez need to prove at Indy? He at least was a threat off the bench with the bat, while Stewart is pretty much a non factor as a hitter. Whatever we are paying Stewart is too much. Martin could be given days off behind the plate, allowing him to play third base occasionally, spelling Alvarez against some left handers – allowing Sanchez more opportunities to catch. This system just does not seem to trust its own prospects – until they are almost forced to play them.
He needs to prove he’s not a liability defensively. 2 throwing errors that allowed 3 runs to score, and he’s only caught 1 of the 9 runners attempting to steal. There’s no question the bat plays, but he isn’t over the yips, and runs are too scarce for this team to be giving them away on defense.
There is no point in having Sanchez up to serve as a back up once to twice a week. Backup catchers are rarely used as PH’s in regular games because they are then either coming into the game to replace the catcher or being used as PH then done resulting in no backup catcher if the starter was to be hurt. This also allows Sanchez to get regular at bats and be ready to jump into a full time role if (God forbid) Martin gets hurt. In addition, the forward thinking of this move allows for next year, after Martin has departed, the Pirates to have both Sanchez as the starter and Stewart as the backup. That is why this move was made and that is why it is not “another dumb move”