Pirates high on Sanchez's future at catcher

Pirates high on Sanchez's future at catcher

PITTSBURGH -- Pressed into regular duty prematurely when Russell Martin went on the disabled list, Tony Sanchez certainly has not soured the Pirates on their plan to make him their full-time No. 1 catcher in 2015.

Oh, Sanchez still occasionally displays his throwing yips. Most notably, he has twice misfired to first base with third-strike balls not caught cleanly. Two of his three errors have come on those plays.

General manager Neal Huntington shrugged off that issue, calling it a common problem dealt with by some of the Majors' better-known receivers.

"Without naming names, you'd be surprised how many catchers now in the big leagues have had a problem with throwing," Huntington said. "We have staff members and scouts who talk about having seen it when they were with other organizations."

Sanchez's force-feeding "hopefully enhances his development," Huntington added. "He just has to keep working through the challenges throwing."

The other elements of the 2009 No. 1 First-Year Player Draft pick's game have been solid. He has hit safely in all but one of his 11 games, and lived up to his reputation for calling pitches and blocking balls in the dirt.

"He's never been in a bad place with it, and continues to work to find the overall consistency," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We feel he has a natural talent for it, and that it can continue to improve."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.