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Pirates notebook: Catcher Sanchez returned to Triple-A Indy

| Friday, June 28, 2013, 9:39 p.m.

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

Manager Clint Hurdle said that with Sanchez swinging such a hot bat in Indy, they wanted to use him in the designated hitter spot to face left-handed pitching during their recent road trip to American League clubs Los Angeles and Seattle. As it turned out, Sanchez only got one at-bat against a left-hander and seven against right-handers, but Hurdle said he showed good discipline and recognition at the plate. Sanchez was 2 for 8 with a double and a run scored in two games after making his major league debut Sunday.

“Defensively, we didn't put him in play, but there are parts of his game he'll have to continue to work on, the controlling the running game aspect, the blocking and throwing aspect,” Hurdle said.

• This is Harrison's fourth stint with the Pirates this season, and he admitted the back-and-forth hasn't been easy. “So far I've done pretty well with it,” he said. “That's not to say it hasn't been hard, but you just have to deal with it. … It's great to see what they're doing and doing so well. It's also bittersweet because I'd definitely like to be a part of it. But I'm here now, so you just have to take it one day at a time.” Harrison began the season with the Pirates and went 1 for 8 in six games before he was optioned to Triple-A on April 14. He hit .391 in his last 10 games in Triple-A before being recalled, including a 4-for-5 performance Wednesday and a six-RBI night Monday.

Wandy Rodriguez's bullpen session was moved from Friday to Saturday because pitching coach Ray Searage was dealing with a personal issue and wasn't expected to arrive at the ballpark until the afternoon. Hurdle also said he believes A.J. Burnett, on the disabled list since June 13 with a right calf strain, will throw a bullpen Saturday. “His arm is up and moving,” he said. “Our bigger concern is him getting off the mound and doing things he'll have to do. I know he's going to throw another (bullpen). If that goes well, we'll talk about what he's most comfortable doing next and what we're most comfortable doing next.”

— Karen Price

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