Sanchez, Fryer, Valdez, Veal cut from big league camp
Tony Sanchez, was among four players to get cut from Pirates spring training on Saturday. They are reassigned to the minor league camp. Catcher Eric Fryer and pitchers Cesar Valdez and Donnie Veal were the others.
Sanchez, who was the Bucs first round pick in the 2009 draft, appeared in just one grapefruit league game where he went 1-for-2 with a double as a designated hitter. I spoke to Sanchez prior to the game on Friday and he told me that Manager Clint Hurdle wanted him to get experience from the big league club.
“In the beginning meetings he said that I was one of the guys he’d use more for the atmosphere. It’s fine with me. I have a lot of fun here. I’m getting as much work in as I can and learning from the guys, getting as much swings and defensive work as anybody else. There’s eight of us [catchers] here. Those guys obviously have a better shot of making the team or contributing to the big league team than I do right now at this point. My feelings are is that it’s just not my time to get any time in the games. Maybe next year.”
“This was an opportunity for him to get to experience a Major League clubhouse environment,” Hurdle said. “As we put this new group together, we wanted him in here for a few weeks to embrace him, to encourage him on the heels of last season.”
Sanchez was batting .314 with four home runs and 38 RBI’s before suffering season ending surgery after being hit in the face by a pitch. He was required to have his jaw wired shut for a month.
Now healthy, Sanchez will start the 2011 season at Double-A Altoona.
Fryer, like Sanchez played for the Bradenton Marauders last season. The 25-year-old catcher played in 83 games in High-A where he batted .300 with 16 doubles, five triples, eight home runs and 48 RBI. Fryer battled several injuries including a left ankle sprain and a left eye socket fracture after being hit in the head with a pitch.
It’s unclear whether Fryer will start the season with Double-A or back with the Marauders.
Valdez was acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Zach Duke trade. He appeared in two games (2.1 innings) this spring allowing just two hits and no runs with two strikeouts.
Valdez is most likely heading to Triple-A Indy. The Pirates are still unsure whether as a starter or a reliever.
Veal is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery (June 2010) and will continue to work on his throwing rehab program with the minor league camp.
Veal is throwing off the mound and participating in fielding drills. He is expected for a May or June (at the earliest) return.
There are currently 58 players at big league camp.