Sanchez is Pirates starting 3B now

Updated: June 4, 2005, 11:20 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press