The Pittsburgh Pirates Tony Sanchez worked his tail off this offseason and today it immediately began paying dividends. The Bucs catcher also got a new haircut this offseason which was a hot topic in Pirates camp. Hard work and fashion tips are a common theme for Sanchez, but what truly mattered happened today at McKechnie Field.
When the season starts, most believe that Sanchez will be headed to Triple-A Indianapolis to play regularly, keep busy with Jameson Taillon and the other future arms that will attempt to get to Pittsburgh sooner rather than later. Sanchez told whoever would listen that he plans on getting a fast start in 2014 and he proved it wasn’t just words with his performance in the first game many Pirates have played since being sent home from St. Louis in Game 5 of the NLDS.
The 2009 first-round pick out of Boston College belted an opposite field three-run bomb at McKechnie Field. Sanchez also doubled to the opposite field as his Gold squad hung on for a 4-3 victory. The 25-year old has always been a big fan of going oppo since the days he wore the slump buster t-shirt in the minors.
“It’s something that he’s well aware of, and he took a big step in the right direction maturing as a hitter last year in Triple-A,” Hurdle said. “He was actually able to bring that focus and that approach with him. Just continuing to stay on it. Today it played out well for him again.”
Sanchez cruised around the bags and then struck a forearm enhanced pose at home plate. Seriously, does Sanchez have the biggest forearms on the team or is this just a weird angle?
Whatever the cause, we trust Tony Two Bags keeps his bat hot, and his forearms extended now that the Pirates are embarking on the first game of a 193-game stretch that hopefully won’t end on the 28th of September. What lies beyond that September date for the Pirates is anyone’s guess. But a return to October baseball in Pittsburgh is something Pirates fans are anxiously awaiting. It all starts today and how far the Bucs go will depend on the fortunes of many of the arms that Sanchez is working with everyday, including his own.