As those brave (and now tired) St. Louis Cardinals fans saw first-hand Wednesday night, 22-year-old reliever Eduardo Sanchez made his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Just called up from Triple-A Memphis earlier in the day, the hard-throwing native of Venezuela arrived with a flourish, collecting five strikeouts over the final two innings of the Cardinals’ 15-5 victory.
Sanchez is the fourth-ranked prospect in The Cardinal Nation’s consolidated top 40 prospect list. Over his six minor league seasons, he has struck out 9.9 batters per nine innings pitched.
I asked researcher Tom Orf to comb the history logs to determine how many Cardinals relievers announced their arrival in the majors with five or more strikeouts in their first game.
Sanchez is the eighth reliever since 1920 and the first in the last 13 years. He is the sixth to do so while not allowing any runs and the first ever to fan at least five in less than three innings. Mort Cooper punched out five in his three-inning 1938 introduction, the previous shortest 5+ strikeout relief debut.
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitchers with 5+ strikeouts in MLB debut (1920-current)