Pitchers and catchers report for Mariners spring training on Friday, and the big topic of conversation will certainly be pitching prospect Victor Sanchez.
Reports from Venezuela say that Sanchez was the victim of a boating accident in his native country, and he is in critical condition following surgery to repair a fractured skull.
Details are sparse right now. The Mariners are still gathering information and have not released a statement, while both the Seattle Times and The News Tribune are relying on reports from the same Venezuelan news source.
Sanchez, who just turned 20, is a right-handed starting pitcher who played last year for the Double-A Jackson affiliate. He was on last week’s list of potential starting pitchers for the 2015 Tacoma Rainiers.
We wish Sanchez the best, and a speedy recovery.
For the latest updates, the Seattle Times has been updating this post, and The News Tribune is covering the story on its Mariners blog. There are also a few more details in this report from SB Nation.
- The last former Tacoma Tigers player active in the major leagues has retired. Jason Giambi played for the Tacoma in 1994, which was the last year of the Tigers and the Oakland A’s affiliation. He had a very long MLB career before announcing his retirement today.
- Bob Dutton of The News Tribune posted a Mariners Top Ten Prospects list with a feature on anticipated Rainiers jack-of-all-trades Patrick Kivlehan.
- Dutton also previewed the Mariners starting rotation heading into spring training.
- Rickie Weeks told the Seattle Times that he is ready to learn to play some new positions.
- Former major league C.J. Nitkowski explains the process of signing a minor league contract with a spring training invitation. Lots of details in here.
- Tim Kurkjian has a terrific story on former Rainiers outfielder Adam Jones.
- Something to keep in the back of your mind: the Pan-Am Games are coming in July, and baseball will be played with Team USA composed of minor leaguers who are not on the 40-man roster. Jon Morosi suggests that prospects could be used, but historically Team USA prefers Triple-A veterans (anyone else remember the 2000 Olympics, when the Rainiers had four players selected?).
- Rob Neyer put together an oral history of the days comedian Bill Murray played for Grays Harbor of the Northwest League.
On Wednesday we’ll have our final positional preview, when we look at the Tacoma Rainiers bullpen candidates.