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Sanchez is Pirates starting 3B now

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned former
starting third baseman Ty Wigginton to Triple-A Indianapolis after
Saturday night's 1-0 loss to Atlanta and recalled
catcher-outfielder Ryan Doumit from their top farm club.

Wigginton, unhappy last week after Freddy Sanchez was named the
starting third baseman, was disappointed with the demotion.

"Obviously, I'm not happy -- this is what you've worked your
whole life for," the 27-year-old Wigginton said.

Wigginton, acquired from the Mets in the Kris Benson trade last
season, was off to a slow start, with a .204 average, 5 homers and
11 RBI in 103 at-bats. But he rebounded from a similar poor start
last year to hit .285 with 12 homers and 42 RBI in 86 games with
New York.

Wigginton was benched just after a stretch in which he hit five
homers in eight starts. He initially lost playing time a few weeks
into the season when Rob Mackowiak began platooning with him at
third, and again a week ago when Sanchez was told he would begin
playing regularly.

Wigginton was convinced he would have hit his way out of his
slump if the Pirates had given him more at-bats.

"He'll benefit from playing, and maybe we can get him
jump-started," general manager Dave Littlefield said.

Doumit, a second-round draft pick in 1999, has emerged as one of
the Pirates' top prospects with a .344 average, 12 homers and 35
RBI at Indianapolis. He will catch occasionally, although the
Pirates already are carrying catchers Humberto Cota and David Ross,
play the outfield and be a designated hitter in American League
parks during some upcoming interleague games.