Mariners News: M’s Promote Top Prospects Diaz & Landazuri
The Seattle Mariners promoted top pitching prospects Edwin Diaz and Stephen Landazuri on Wednesday. Diaz started the year pitching for the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League, but he now takes up a spot in the Jackson Generals’ starting rotation. Landazuri starred for the Generals this season before earning a spot with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate in Tacoma.
Edwin Diaz is an extremely talented 21-year-old right-hander. He entered the season ranked by MLB.com as the M’s top pitching prospect and 7th best overall. Diaz has lived up to the billing this season in Bakersfield, going 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA across 37.0 innings pitched. He struck out 42 and walked just 9 during his time with the Blaze in 2015. Diaz has allowed 7 earned runs across his 7 outings this season. The opposition has registered a measly 0.811 walks/hits per inning off the Puerto Rico native.
I expect Diaz to continue dominating with the Mariners’ double-A affiliate in Jackson. He is slight at 165 lbs., but he is able to generate great movement on all of his pitches. Look for Edwin to finish out the season with the Generals before advancing to Triple-A Tacoma in 2016. He is on the fast track to the big leagues, and we could see Diaz donning a Mariners’ uniform as early as next summer.
Stephen Landazuri is another exciting pitcher ascending quickly through the Mariners’ minor league system. The young right-hander entered the season ranked as the M’s 22nd best prospect according to MLB.com. Landazuri shined with the Jackson Generals of the Southern League this spring, and now sits one step closer to the Majors in Tacoma. The former 22nd round pick has posted an 0-2 record with a 4.61 ERA across 27.1 innings. Those numbers are incredibly misleading however, as the 23-year-old sported a stingy 1.45 ERA through his first 18.2 innings this season.
The Rialto, CA product has struck out 22 and walked 8 this year, good for a 2.75 strikeout to walk ratio. Landazuri is never going to be an elite strikeout pitcher, but he has done a nice job keeping the ball in the yard, allowing just 1 home run through 6 outings in 2015. His 1.317 WHIP indicates he pitched well for the Generals, but his stuff is not over powering.
Stephen Landazuri should spend the rest of the summer in the Rainiers’ starting rotation. I think Landazuri has a chance to be a starter in the Major Leagues before long, but he likely needs a bit more seasoning in the minors. He did not disappoint this past March in Peoria, hurling 2.2 shutout frames for the Mariners in his first taste of spring training. I do not think the M’s are not likely to employ Landazuri as a starter in 2016, but he has the potential to earn a bullpen spot with a strong showing this spring.
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In related news, the Seattle Mariners agreed to terms with RHP Logan Kensing on a minor league deal. Sensing spent 2014 with the Tacoma Rainiers, and he figures to work out of the Rainiers’ bullpen again this summer. The veteran right-hander went 6-3 and posted a 3.58 ERA across 88.0 innings with Tacoma last season. He registered a 2.39 strikeout to walk ratio, and allowed 1.341 walks/hits per inning.
The 32-year-old last appeared in the Major Leagues in 2013 as a member of the Colorado Rockies. Kensing has not received an extended look in the show since 2009 when he pitched 28.0 innings for the Washington Nationals. It is fair to assume that Kensing will only serve as organizational depth for the Mariners. It is highly unlikely you will see Logan Kensing pitching at Safeco Field this season.
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