The swing that produced a .344 average and a NL batting title last season looks fine. Line drives jump off his bat during batting practice, just like they have at every level of baseball Freddy Sanchez has played. Fielding ground balls isn't a problem, and the shift from third base to second base was greeted by a shrug from a player who doesn't care what position he plays as long as he is in the lineup. What is keeping Sanchez out of the Pirates' lineup as spring training winds down is a troublesome strained right knee ligament that is preventing him from running at full speed. The injury was supposed to be a minor one when he was hurt turning a double play on March 6 -- a day-to-day proposition -- but it's been 2 1/2 weeks and he's not yet ready.
March 2007 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Sanchez Injures Knee
Second baseman Freddy Sanchez left Tuesday's game against the Phillies after the third inning when he injured his right knee making a pivot at second base on a double play. The Pirates scheduled Sanchez for a MRI later in the day. "Obviously, we don't know what it is," Sanchez said. "But it's nothing big. I'm walking right now. ... As of right now, it feels like a bruise or something." He said the injury was just part of baseball. On the play, Sanchez was planting to make a throw to first base as Phillies catcher Rod Barajas barreled toward second. Barajas slid and upended Sanchez, who lay on the ground.