Prospect Notes: Hernandez, Sheffield, Senzel, Bichette, Vlad Jr., Luzardo

Here’s the latest on some prospects of note from around the game:

  • The Red Sox brought up top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez for his first taste of the majors, with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe first reporting the move. Hernandez, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, still needs to iron out his command but has shown some impressive swing-and-miss capabilities. It was on display tonight, as he allowed five baserunners but also racked up four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings in relief.
  • Left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield will join the Mariners on Friday for his first action with his new club, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports on Twitter. He’s expected to piggyback with Yusei Kikuchi for a start; it’s possible he’ll be dropped back to Triple-A thereafter, though that’s not yet clear. While he already has 13 days of MLB service on his odometer, Sheffield won’t be able to reach a full year of service even if he stakes a permanent claim to a big-league roster spot. Sheffield hasn’t been himself thus far at Triple-A, carrying an 11:14 K/BB ratio through 18 1/3 innings.
  • It’s possible the Reds will soon welcome top prospect Nick Senzel to the majors. As Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Senzel is back in the lineup at Triple-A after recovering from a sprained ankle. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be promoted in the near-term, but the organization doesn’t have much cause to hesitate at this point. Senzel can no longer achieve a full year of MLB service in 2019; the club is sitting at five games under .500 and can’t wait long to make its move. Once Senzel gets his timing down and gets comfortable in the outfield — he’s lined up in center field tonight for Louisville — he’ll likely be called up.
  • The Blue Jays got some unwelcome news on exciting infield prospect Bo Bichette. Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported on Twitter that Bichette had suffered a broken hand. As Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets, the fracture was to the second metacarpal of his left hand. Widely considered one of the game’s very best prospects, Bichette will now need to get back to health before he can begin pressing for a major-league promotion. Meanwhile, anticipation grows that teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will soon get the call; Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs tweets that some around the game anticipate it’ll come this week.
  • Top Athletics prospect Jesus Luzardo is beginning to work back toward the hill, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). He’s moving from 75 feet to 90 feet tomorrow, so it’s still rather early in his progression back from shoulder soreness. Slusser estimates that it could take four to six weeks before the prized southpaw could be ready for game action. In all likelihood, he won’t be seen as a candidate for a MLB promotion until he has at least a few Triple-A starts under his belt and the club feels confident there aren’t any lingering issues with the joint.

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