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Pirates

Former Bucs Catcher LaValliere: Sanchez Off To Great Start

ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images

ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP/Getty Images

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA 93-7 The Fan)- The Pirates continue their Spring Training workouts in Bradenton. Former Pirates players traditionally come back to help as instructors too. One former player working in Bradenton this spring is Mike LaValliere, who is helping bench coach Jeff Bannister with the catchers.

“He’s got a lot on his plate, and I’m there to help him out with the catchers,” LaValliere told Tab Douglas and Stacy Kauffman. “I’ll get with them individually, we’ll do our drills, and then game time-wise, you know I’ll throw my two cents in and see if I can help out a little bit.”

Kauffman asked LaValliere if it would be better to have Tony Sanchez as a backup in Pittsburgh or as a starter for Class AAA Indianapolis.

“That’s a decision that Neal Huntington, Clint Hurdle and his staff, that’s a decision that they’re going to have to make,” LaVallier said. “Tony’s still a young guy. Ideally, you need to have him play and continue to improve his total game. He’s gotten off to an absolutely fabulous start, both at the plate, behind the plate.”

Douglas asked LaValliere what he thought about the new rule regarding collisions at home plate.

“They’re looking to protect the guys. There’s parts of the rule where there’s a lot of gray area,” LaValliere said. “To implement that rule is going to be kind of difficult. But you know really, I don’t think it’s going to be as big of a bearing on any games as people might think.”

Listen to the full interview here:

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