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Pirates recall Chris Stewart, option Tony Sanchez

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have announced that they've recalled Chris Stewart from his rehab assignment and optioned Tony Sanchez to Triple-A Indianapolis. Stewart had been on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

This move will be unpopular with a portion of the Pirates' fanbase, but it's a routine move and the right decision (unless you think the Pirates should carry three catchers for one reason or another -- like Brian says, if the Bucs were to promote Sanchez again so that they could send Jung-Ho Kang to Indianapolis for a while, that might make sense). Stewart can't be optioned, and depth is important. I hope Sanchez really did turn his career around this offseason and this spring, but I'm not sure we should give him the benefit of the doubt  -- there's not enough evidence yet, and feel-good stories in April have a way of being forgotten by June.

But even if we do, backup catcher is a minor enough position that the depth that having both Stewart and Sanchez in the organization represents is worth more than whatever the difference between Stewart and Sanchez is as the Bucs' backup. The Pirates currently have what appears to be at least three MLB-caliber catchers, and that's valuable, as their 2011 catching debacle demonstrated. Also, Stewart is actually pretty good for a backup catcher, despite his almost comical lack of power. He's a good framer, and his ability to draw walks helps his otherwise mediocre offensive game.