KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Infielder Angel Sanchez, who's been out of action for a few days with an upper back strain, was cleared to perform all baseball drills Monday, including batting practice. He's expected to play Wednesday against the Pirates in Bradenton, Fla.
"I feel really good this morning, and hopefully [the injury] won't happen again," he said.
Sanchez, who's competing for one of the backup infield spots, has been held to just 28 at-bats this spring and is hitting .250. That's fewer at-bats than Anderson Hernandez (32), Tommy Manzella (34) and Matt Downs (36), who are also vying for a backup infield spot.
Sanchez hit .280 with 25 RBIs in 250 at-bats last year after being acquired from the Red Sox in exchange for Kevin Cash shortly after Manzella broke his finger and missed more than six weeks. Sanchez started 57 games at shortstop and seven games at second base.