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Tony Sanchez makes team; Chris Stewart unlikely to be ready

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Hurdle says that Tony Sanchez has made the team, since Chris Stewart appears unlikely to be ready for Opening Day due to his hamstring injury. The Pirates haven't announced whether Stewart will start the season on the disabled list, but I assume he will.

Many fans were already calling for Sanchez to make the team, but this will likely only be temporary. Sanchez has hit well this spring (and has, by all accounts, looked good, which is related but slightly different, and also slightly more persuasive). But he'll probably need to continue to answer questions about both his offense and his defense against more serious competition. Also, Stewart is coming off a good season as Russell Martin's backup. Sanchez could force his way into the picture for 2016 with a good season split between Triple-A and the big leagues, however, even though both Stewart and Francisco Cervelli will both be eligible for arbitration again next winter.

Incidentally, this morning, the Pirates optioned another potential 2016 catching option, Elias Diaz, to Indianapolis, along with Nick Kingham.