Reliever Jesus Sanchez knew he was a long shot to make the Milwaukee Brewers' roster this spring, so it was no real shock when he was optioned Wednesday night to Class AAA Nashville.

Considering the transformation Sanchez underwent in his baseball career a few years back, just being one step away from the major leagues is a major achievement, however.

"I'm here because of the hard work I have done," Sanchez said before leaving Milwaukee's camp. "I'm glad the Brewers saw my work and liked it. I'm just looking forward to getting better in every possible way."

Playing in Philadelphia's system in 2008, Sanchez had been a catcher for four professional seasons when it was suggested to him that he might want to try pitching. In terms of a career move, that's sort of like telling a painter he might want to try sculpting.

That advice came as a result of Sanchez's puny production as a hitter. Originally signed by the New York Yankees four years earlier, Sanchez compiled a .206 batting average with one homer and 26 runs batted in over 139 games at the rookie and Class A levels.

"I was doing a good job defensively, but I wasn't hitting," Sanchez said. "They said I had a good arm and had a chance to get to the big leagues as a pitcher.

"At first I wasn't sure about it, especially after four years as a catcher. But, obviously, they weren't seeing any progress with me. When you want to make it to the big leagues, you will do whatever it takes."