Sanchez injures knee in spring game

Sanchez injures right knee in Grapefruit game

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Second baseman Freddy Sanchez lay on the ground, face down, as hearts came to a stop in the Pirates dugout Tuesday.

"You take a deep breath," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "Obviously, a huge one."

After Tracy caught his breath, he and everybody else with the Pirates heard good news from an MRI: Sanchez will be fine. He'll miss a couple of games, but the sprained right knee won't sideline him for long.

Nobody was sure of that earlier, though. In a game against the Phillies, Sanchez went down hard while making a pivot to complete a double play.

He was planting to make a relay to first base as Phillies catcher Rod Barajas barreled toward the bag at second. Barajas slid hard and upended Sanchez.

The Pirates trainers rushed to the field, and Sanchez, limping a bit, righted himself and walked toward the clubhouse. He had the trainers examine him before the MRI, and he was pleased with what they told him.

"It's nothing big," he said. "I'm walking right now. ... As of right now, it feels like a bruise or something."

Sanchez said the injury was just part of baseball, and he went out of his way to call Barajas' hard slide a clean play.

"That's the way you play the game," Sanchez said of Barajas' slide. "Things like this happen."

Others with the Pirates agreed. Still, that didn't make them any less worried about Sanchez, the leading hitter in the National League last season.

"We're in good shape," said Tracy, obviously relieved. "It's a day-to-day thing."

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.