CINCINNATI (AP) -The Pittsburgh Pirates activated NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez off the 15-day disabled list Saturday, reuniting him with the team in time for the final game of a series against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Pirates also optioned Ryan Doumit to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he will be the everyday catcher.
Sanchez, who hit .344 last season, sprained his right knee while turning a double play in a game on March 6. The second baseman didn’t get back onto the field until the final days of spring training, and wanted to play a few games in the minors to refine his swing.
Sanchez went 1-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday night, but cold weather wiped out games scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
“He’s probably got a better chance to play here,” general manager Dave Littlefield said, following a 7-5 loss to the Reds on Saturday. “Eventually you’ve just got to make a call.”
Manager Jim Tracy was noncommittal about whether Sanchez would start on Sunday against left-hander Eric Milton, who also opened the season on the disabled list because of back spasms. However, Sanchez is 9-for-13 in his career against Milton, so it is likely he will start.
The Pirates’ home opener is Monday afternoon against St. Louis.
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