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Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Latest Update on Chris Stewart Pretty Much Secures a Roster Spot For Tony Sanchez

Last night I wrote about a few injury updates from the press conference with Clint Hurdle. The Pirates have released more information this morning, including updates on a few new players.

Chris Stewart – I wrote last night that Hurdle said there has been no progress with Stewart as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. The Pirates say he has a strain of his right hamstring, and that he is week to week, but will likely be out of game activity for at least two weeks. This makes it extremely unlikely that he will be ready for the start of the season, which would open a spot on the Opening Day roster for Tony Sanchez.

Brent Morel – Out with right hamstring discomfort. Progressing well, but remains unavailable for game activity.

Justin Sellers – Out with discomfort in his left Achilles tendon. Unavailable for game activity. He also went home to California yesterday for the birth of his child.

Jose Tabata – He went down last night with a right ankle contusion, and is unavailable for game activity.

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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.


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Joe W.

Great job Tony. Keep getting better. If Cervelli goes down you will be the man in control… make it impossible to give the job to someone else.

All this depth all of a sudden… yikes. what to do when Reese is ready in ’17? (hopefully)


Sanchez has been in the major leagues before for long periods of time? It’s not like he’s never made a major league roster before. I don’t get this discussion at all.


Stewart is made of glass. With him and Cervelli as the catchers Sanchez & Diaz both could get more than 100 plate appearances in 2015.


True Dat.

Ghost of Derek Bell

I’m very encouraged by Diaz’s progress but before we anoint him the next big thing, let’s remember he’s only had 33 AB’s at the AAA level. He’s a prospect and from the looks this spring a very good one, but I still think we need to temper our enthusiasm.

Luke sutton

Gotta give him at least a few hundred AAA at bats before assuming too much, though as you said he certainly looks to have turned a key corner.


If Sanchez can throw out 20% or so of base stealers it would be a great sign. Sanchez could hit .250 and be a top 15-20 catcher offensively with his power and ability to draw walks and get hit by pitches.


If if if. LOL.


I really liked tony sanchez’s attitude in yesterdays interview it looks to me like he has gotten his mind and body in the right position, while I hate to see any player injured this is tony’s moment to step up with stewart on the shelf and diaz still on the horizon. For his sake as well as the pirates I hope he grabs on with both hands and settles into a long productive career. Good job tony, keep it up.

Chris Hale

I’m stoked! The plan was always for Sanchez to be the catcher in the dream lineup built from all these top prospects we have. Cervelli will still be the starter but an injury or struggles and Tony is right there. I hope he continue’s to work hard. Because he’s going to be fighting off Elias Diaz and possibly Reese McGuire for years.


Defense is obviously the bread and butter of catcher and hopefully that part of Tony’s game continues to improve(great article btw detailing how he worked on it this offseason) But it’s also easy to forget how well Sanchez hit in minors- while a little old for the level he put a decent WRC+ last year even with a pretty ordinary average. In 2013 had WRC+ over 140 in AAA. Baseball is funny game, maybe light has come on for him. Pretty neat story after basically being cut from his Winter League team.

Lee Foo Young

I forgot Morel was still in our org. I’d LIKE to fooget that Tabby is still in our org. 🙂


Oh c’mon lee nobody is that bad…ah, wait your right dangit! : )

Brian O'Donnell

Let’s see if Tony will take advantage of this opportunity. For what was recently a position of weakness, it is nice to have catching depth.


It’s still a position of weakness. Some of our catcher’s is anywhere near the equal of Russell Martin. Or even near a league average catcher.

And if Tony Sanchez can remain sober long enough, he may become a major league catcher. But an all-star caliber catcher, who knows?


I’d have to imagine, especially with how he’s hitting, he’ll get plenty of time even with Cervelli as the starter. Tony might be the best hitter of all our catchers, and his blocking and framing are good (maybe not as good as Cervelli’s, but good nonetheless), so the question is always the arm.

If both he and Diaz (and Cervelli) look like solid Major League starting catchers at some point this year, we’ll have some interesting decisions to make, and could possibly have a Major League position of depth to deal from to fill other needs or beef up the farm system.

Luke sutton

Depending on how you look at it, they could potentially try to keep both Diaz and Sanchez if they both were to look solid in 1-2 years. Neither a FA for years and will stay cheap, and you almost have to have a decent backup catcher in the modern game. Tony being able to evolve back into a solid option would be great for depth….and subsequently payroll.


It really wouldn’t have much impact on payroll either way. Cervelli is not making much at all and given his history, probably won’t be getting a big raise in arbitration next year.

Luke sutton

I was thinking longterm with the “if Diaz and Sanchez both work out”, in that its 4+ years of those guys over having to look outside for a starter or backup.


I’d bet that if all three of Cervelli, Diaz and Sanchez look good, they’ll just have Diaz stay in Indy all year to get reps, and probably trade Stewart at some point. They would then have a nice situation to sort out in the offseason.

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