Pirates notebook: Sanchez makes pitch to stick in rotation
SARASOTA, Fla. — By dominating the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, left-hander Jonathan Sanchez might have pitched his way onto the Opening Day roster — and perhaps even the starting rotation.
“I just go out there and throw the ball. I don't make those decisions,” said Sanchez, who can opt out of his contract if he's not assured of a spot on the active roster by Monday. “It's hard to be waiting, waiting. I want to be here. If they need me here, I'm happy to be here. If not ...”
Sanchez tossed five scoreless innings, allowed two singles, walked one and struck out four. It was his longest and most effective outing this spring. It came just as the derby for the No. 5 spot in the rotation appeared to become wide open again.
Other than one bad outing Feb. 28 against Boston, Sanchez has been effective. He tweaked his delivery early in camp but junked the changes after the Red Sox game.
Earlier this week, there were indications Kyle McPherson was the leader for the job. But the right-hander has been knocked around in three of his past four starts, including a nine-run wipeout Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves.
Jeff Locke is still in the mix. In five games, the left-hander has a 3.12 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
Newcomer Jeanmar Gomez might be getting a closer look. The righty has pitched in four games (one start) and has a 9.00 ERA and 1.89 WHIP.
Gomez, who was acquired in an offseason trade, will start Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Pirates will not use a designated hitter — something manager Clint Hurdle has done over the past couple of weeks when legit starter candidates have pitched.
The early lineups and rosters for the Rays game are posted in the clubhouse but do not list relief pitchers for the Pirates. That could be a sign some of the guys in camp Friday morning will be in the minors by the afternoon. The Pirates have 40 players in camp.
• The lineup against the Rays includes several position players who are on the bubble: Ivan De Jesus Jr., Josh Harrison, Brad Hawpe, Brandon Inge, Alex Presley and Felix Pie. For some of them, it could be a “one last look” game before rosters are reduced, perhaps as soon as Saturday. Infielder John McDonald, acquired Wednesday in a trade, arrived Thursday night and will be in camp Friday.
• McDonald and catcher Michael McKenry are locks for bench jobs. “We've got one more infielder who we'll (determine) in spring training,” GM Neal Huntington said. “The other two spots, it might be two outfielders, or it might be one infielder and one outfielder. Time will tell as it plays out.”
• Gaby Sanchez was scratched from the lineup Thursday due to what the Pirates described only as “an allergic reaction.” He was replaced as designated hitter by Hawpe.
• Before pregame workouts Thursday, all the Pirates were wearing T-shirts, courtesy of A.J. Burnett. The shirts had “Preparation for Domination” on the front and Burnett's uniform No. 34 on the back.
• LHP Wandy Rodriguez threw 5 1⁄3 innings Thursday in a minor league game. He gave up one run on three hits, walked three and struck out two.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.