Sanchez's field debut delayed a day

Sanchez's field debut delayed a day

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It will be one more day before second baseman Freddy Sanchez returns to the field. The Pirates had planned to send in Sanchez on Tuesday for the first time this spring, but decided late on Monday that holding off for one more day would be most advantageous.

"He's fine," manager John Russell said, noting that the change in schedule was not a result of any setback. "We just talked about getting him another full day of work. He was ready to go [on Tuesday]."

Sanchez will take full infield practice -- which will include turning double plays, taking ground balls and backhanding grounders -- at McKechnie Field on Tuesday while the team travels to Sarasota to face the Reds. Sanchez has already extended his throwing to a distance of 120 feet and has reported less soreness in his right shoulder in recent days.

The delay in Sanchez's return to the field comes after a longer-than-expected rehabilitation process on his right shoulder. Sanchez had minor arthroscopic surgery in late September and was initially expected to be at 100 percent at the start of Spring Training, but he reported continued soreness when he arrived in Florida.

The Pirates have remained comfortable keeping Sanchez off the field defensively, knowing that he has been able to get the necessary number of at-bats despite the soreness. Because hitting has caused no pain in his shoulder, the All-Star has played 10 games at designated hitter so far this spring, going 14-for-38 with nine RBIs.

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