Jonathan Sanchez (0-3) gets demoted to bullpen

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MILWAUKEE -- Jonathan Sanchez's tenure in the Pirates rotation was brief.

Manager Clint Hurdle announced Monday that Sanchez is heading to the bullpen after the left-hander posted a 12.71 ERA and 0-3 record through four starts this season.

Jeanmar Gomez will start Wednesday, Sanchez's scheduled day in the rotation. Hurdle declined to say if Sanchez's move to the bullpen is permanent. But with Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton on pace to join the active roster in the next couple of weeks, it is unlikely Sanchez starts again. And his future with the Pirates will be in jeopardy once those two pitchers are ready.

Gomez, 25, has made 38 career starts, all with the Cleveland Indians.

"I was starting in spring training," Gomez said. "It's not new for me to be a starter. So I hope to get a lot of innings for the guys in the bullpen, to help them out."

He said he believes he can throw at least 70 pitches in an outing and would hope to push that Wednesday to 85 or 90 pitches. Because he has pitched in the bullpen the past month, he can't handle the same workload as a typical starter.

Hurdle said the Pirates opted to have Gomez make the start instead of one of the team's minor league pitchers because the team does not believe any of the pitchers in the minors are ready to make a major league start.

Appeal hearing set

Sanchez, who was ejected Friday after hitting St. Louis Cardinals' Allen Craig, will have a hearing Friday to appeal a six-game league-issued suspension.

The hearing will take place via video conference, with Sanchez in Pittsburgh and league officials in New York.

Martin honored

Pirates catcher Russell Martin was named the National League player of the week for the seven-day period ending Sunday, Major League Baseball announced Monday.

Martin went .375 with four home runs and six RBIs to lead the Pirates to a 5-2 record in that stretch. He had more home runs than strikeouts (three).

It's quite a way to end the month for a player who started it 2 for 32 and didn't hit a home run until April 18.

"I still feel like it's the law of the averages," he said. "Having that kind of start, it's got to balance out somewhere."

He credits his recent success to some adjustments at the plate. Specifically he said he has altered his set up in the batter's box, and it has allowed him to see pitches more clearly. While crouching behind the plate, he studied opposing batters to learn how they approach successful at-bats.

"He's not missing pitches," Hurdle said. "He had a lot of pitches early in the season to drive that he fouled off. Now he's covering pitches."

He is the first Pirates player to win the award this season. Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson was named the American League player of the week.

The Pirates signed Martin, 30, to a two-year, $17 million deal in the offseason.

Broadcast changes

With the Penguins starting the playoffs, Root Sports altered the Pirates broadcast schedule so the network could air the NHL playoffs. A game Friday against the Washington Nationals and May 7 against the Seattle Mariners will not be televised.

Depending on how long the Penguins-Islanders series lasts, the Pirates might not be televised May 9, 11 or 12.

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