Sanchez's pain just won't go away
Pirates hopeful that second baseman will play on Opening Day
BRADENTON, Fla. -- One day after being examined by orthopedist James Andrews, Freddy Sanchez was back in the McKechnie Field clubhouse on Tuesday and still showing visible frustration at the lingering discomfort in his right shoulder.
Sanchez took infield practice with the team during morning drills, though he limited his throwing to just light tosses. He then went over to Pirate City, where he played in the Pirates' Minor League game exclusively as a hitter.
After experiencing increased pain in his shoulder last Friday, Sanchez went to Birmingham, Ala., on Monday to ensure that the discomfort was being caused by nothing more than shoulder inflammation. Andrews confirmed that initial diagnosis, leaving Sanchez now just waiting for the inflammation to subside.
Sanchez said that he has no current plans to get a cortisone shot for the pain, but he instead plans to let his shoulder work to heal itself on its own.
General manager Neal Huntington said on Monday that based on the diagnoses from Andrews and team doctors, Sanchez should be ready to play on Opening Day. However, Sanchez isn't quite ready to make that guarantee.
"I have no idea," said Sanchez, when asked if he expected to take the field in Atlanta on Monday. "I really can't say. I'd like to hope so, but you never know until you let it go.
"We'll see what happens. I would rather take more time off now than go through the whole season like this, because it's not fun."
Sanchez will continue to have his shoulder strength re-evaluated daily, and he will determine how hard and how far he can throw accordingly. Fortunately, the second baseman will continue to be able to take ground balls and get an adequate number of at-bats as his throwing progresses, especially since the pain only flares up when Sanchez lets loose and throws hard.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.