November 15, 1996: Yennsy Diaz
Yennsy Diaz is the only Cup of Coffee Club player born on this day, but it's unlikely to stay that way for long. Diaz turns just 23 today and still has his entire career ahead of him. For the time being, though, and for at least as long as this MLB offseason, he will remain in the club. Diaz, who is from the Dominican Republic, signed an international free agent contract with the Blue Jays in 2014 when he was just 17 years old.
It's no guarantee that Diaz will return to the majors anytime soon, though. He has never pitched in Triple-A as his call up to the Blue Jays in August, 2019 was straight from Double-A, where he only has 24 career starts. The rest of his professional experience has come in Rookie Ball, A-Ball and High-A Ball. He has a tall hill to climb to get back to baseball's biggest stage.
When he was recalled by Toronto during the 2019 season, he entered a game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 4. His team already trailed 4-2. Roughly 19,000 watched at Camden Yards as he struggled in his first major-league appearance. Trey Mancini singled and Anthony Santander flew out before Renato Nunez drew a walk to put two runners on with just one out. Jace Peterson grounded into a fielder's choice, but promptly stole second, giving Baltimore two runners in scoring position.
That's when Diaz fell apart. He proceeded to walk the next three batters, Hanser Alberto, Chance Sisco, and Chris Davis, forcing in two runs. That was all she wrote as Diaz was removed following the walk to Davis. In just ⅔ of an inning, he had allowed two earned runs, ballooning his career ERA to 27.00. His lackluster performance got him sent back down to Double-A New Hampshire where he played out the remainder of the season.
At just 23, Diaz will have an opportunity to prove himself, but as other Cup of Coffee Club members who have come before him have shown, it's never a guarantee you're getting back to The Show and sometimes that fact in itself, is what makes it so hard to work your way back in search of one more inning, one more appearance, one more chance to prove you belong.