Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review broke news this afternoon that Michael McKenry would be placed on the fifteen day DL, and that the Pirates would call up Alex Presley from Indianapolis to fill the roster void left by McKenry. This means a couple things for the Pirates:
First, the Pirates have an option that allows them to rest a slumping Starling Marte, at least for a day. Marte has been cold as ice over the last two weeks, batting .143/.234/.238 over the last two weeks, and they can give him a day off to play Presley against lefty Jake Westbrook, who struggles mightily against left-handed hitters. Marte should play most of the series against the Cardinals, but Presley will start tonight. He’s been better than people give him credit for this year, and is in a good matchup going into this game.
Second, the Pirates will give a more extended opportunity to Tony Sanchez, who will back up Russell Martin in McKenry’s absence. Sanchez has had a great year at AAA Indianapolis, was an all-star there, and even won the MVP of the AAA all-star game in Reno, Nevada. He’ll get an opportunity to display his skills again, after a shorter stint earlier in the year. Sanchez is a strong defender as a catcher, but has had throwing issues in the past. Hopefully we’ll get to see how well he’s been able to correct those issues this year.