Tony Sanchez to get some work at first base for the Pirates

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that, during a Q&A session, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said that catching prospect Tony Sanchez will get some work at first base in the upcoming season. Sanchez won’t exactly be replacing Gaby Sanchez, as Pedro Alvarez is expected to play every day, even against left-handed pitchers, Brink writes. With Francisco Cervelli likely to get the starting nod behind the plate, Sanchez would be the back-up at two positions and would serve as a right-handed bench bat.

Sanchez, 26, ranked among the game’s 100-best prospects going into the 2010 and ’11 seasons according to both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. In limited action at the major league level, Sanchez has underwhelmed, hitting .252/.295/.378 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 146 plate appearances.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.