Bucs expand roster -- and T. Sanchez's skill set

Catcher, who has been working at first, returns with Pimentel, Cole

Bucs expand roster -- and T. Sanchez's skill set

ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Tony Sanchez, right-hander Stolmy Pimentel and, at least technically, Gerrit Cole on Monday led off the gradual influx onto the Pirates' expanded roster.

Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, Pimentel (sprained right ankle) came off the DL and Cole was recalled from Rookie-level Bristol.

The trio of moves increased the clubhouse head count to 28. With Indianapolis concluding its season on Monday -- and, at 73-70 , no playoffs in sight -- more arrivals are expected on Tuesday.

As was the case with Cole, who started Monday afternoon's game here, lefty Jeff Locke will be recalled from Triple-A to start the second game of this key series against the Cardinals. He will have company.

"I anticipate some more guys joining us [Tuesday]," manager Clint Hurdle said.

The most intriguing member of the first wave is Sanchez, a principal in the Bucs' first seven weeks of the season, while Chris Stewart and Russell Martin both served DL time. Sanchez then returned to Indianapolis to work on his catching -- and wound up August working out at first base.

"Could it be another position where he can post-up to provide an opportunity for the bat to play? Can't see why not," Hurdle said.

Sanchez, accustomed to being involved in every pitch as a lifelong catcher, did not sound enthusiastic about the new position.

"I hate it," Sanchez said, softening the impact of those words with a bemused smile. "Extremely boring. I'm out there like a dog playing fetch, trying to go after every ball. It'll take more than a couple weeks of taking ground balls for them to even consider me an option at first base."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.