By Shannon Drayer
There is no activity with the big league team, of course, as they fly to Houston for Friday’s workout and game against the Astros. But there is big news from the lower levels of the organization, as 18-year-old Victor Sanchez, seen at the far right in the picture, threw a no-hitter for the Mariners’ Class A affiliate, the Clinton LumberKings. Sanchez (2-4, 2.83 ERA) allowed no hits, no walks and struck out eight in the 1-0 win over the Lansing Lugnuts. A hit by pitch kept him from a perfect game.
Sanchez, a righty, is a top prospect in the the organization. Signed out of Venezuela for a reported seven-figure bonus in August of 2011, he was regarded as one of the top international arms available that year. He fared well at Everett last year despite being the youngest player in short-season ball. This year he has struck out 41 and walked just eight in 12 starts. He has allowed just three home runs.
Sanchez isn’t the only young pitcher to keep an eye on. In five rookie ball starts with Pulaski, Edwin Diaz, another 18-year-old who the Mariners selected 98th overall in 2012, has gone 2-0 with a 0.33 ERA, allowing just one earned run while striking out 31 and walking just five.
Both pitchers obviously are very young and about as far away from the big leagues as they possibly could be, but are highly regarded and worth keeping an eye on. Getting off to good starts is a good thing. We will see where they go from here.
A couple of older (okay they are both 23) pitchers got some work in the past two days with Everett. Stephen Pryor made his first rehab start and faced five batters in 2/3 of an inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits. He struck out one and walked none. Erasmo Ramirez started Wednesday’s game and went 5 1/3 innings, giving up one earned run on six hits while walking just one and striking out 10. He most likely will get the start Tuesday in Seattle.