The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 21, 2013

Pirates call up Sanchez


sports@tribdem.com

PITTSBURGH — The journey took longer than expected, but another prized Pittsburgh Pirates prospect finally got the call to the big leagues.

Tony Sanchez, the Pirates’ first-round draft pick in 2009, was promoted to the major-league roster on Friday as the team prepared for a series against the Los Angeles Angels. To make room for Sanchez, pitcher Brandon Cumpton was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Sanchez will be one of three catchers on the roster joining Russell Martin and Michael McKenry. Sanchez could be used as a designated hitter during Pittsburgh’s five-game swing against American League teams on the West Coast.

In 55 games with Indianapolis, the 25-year-old Sanchez batted .306 with nine home runs and 35 RBI.

Cumpton started two games for the Pirates and posted a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings.

Friday was busy for the Pirates, who signed a pair of picks from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Right-handed pitcher Neil Kozikowski, an eighth-round selection, is headed to the Gulf Coast League Pirates.

Kozikowski (6-foot-4, 180 pounds) as recently named the third-best high school player and second-best right-handed pitcher in Connecticut by Perfect Game. A 2013 Rawlings Northest All-Region first-team selection, Kozikowski played for Avon Old Farms School.

Twenty-second round pick Henry Hirsch, another right-0handed pitcher with connections to Connecticut, is headed to the GCL Pirates.

Hirsch (6-3, 185) finished 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 59 innings for the University of New Haven.