In 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox. In return they received Triple-A shortstop Argenis Diaz, and low-A right handed pitcher Hunter Strickland.
Strickland was in the middle of a strong season. He had a 3.35 ERA in 83.1 innings for the Red Sox low-A affiliate. The Pirates placed him in West Virginia, and in his first start in the organization he combined with Diego Moreno for a no-hitter, throwing six no-hit innings. He finished the year with a 3.77 ERA in 43 innings with West Virginia.
The right-hander returned to low-A the following season, and pitched 43 more innings at the level. This time he posted a 5.86 ERA before being moved up to high-A. He made just four appearances in Bradenton before going down with an...
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