Pirates prospect catcher Tony Sanchez was just named to represent the organization in next month’s All-Star Futures Game, but his appearance could be in jeopardy after he was hit in the left cheek by a pitch while playing for High-A Bradenton on Tuesday, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Kovacevic originally reported that the injury was not considered serious, however he writes in a follow-up tweet that a new scan of the catcher’s left cheek showed two possible fractures. The team has yet to make an official announcement on the extent of his injury.
Sanchez, 22, was selected out of Boston College as the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft. Though he is more highly-regarded for his defense behind the plate, he’s no slouch with the bat, either. He hit .309/.409/.539 in his first taste of pro ball last season and entered play on Tuesday with a .314/.414/.454 triple-slash to go along with four home runs and 35 RBI over his first 207 at-bats with High-A Bradenton this season.
Sanchez was ranked as the organization’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America over the winter.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.