Elier Sánchez Quesada
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 1", Weight 203 lb.
The southpaw threw in the 2003 Junior Pan American Games and then starred in the 2004 World Junior Championship. In the junior championship, he struck out 18 in 10 innings, went 1-0 and had a 0.00 ERA. He was second to Ki-joo Han in strikeouts. Despite his success, he failed to make the All-Star team for the event; teammate Yadier Pedroso beat him out for MVP honors.
Sánchez had already debuted in the Cuban leagues with Camagüey by this point, having gone 3-1 with a 5.19 ERA in 2003-2004. In 2004-2005, he was 4-10 with 2 saves and a 4.18 ERA and a league-high 66 walks. The next season, Elier posted a 6-9, 2 Sv, 4.28 record.
In 2006-2007, Sánchez turned in a great campaign, going 13-3 with a 1.90 ERA. He tied Pedro Luis Lazo for the league lead in wins, had the best winning percentage, placed 5th in ERA, was 5th in walks (51) and tied Vladimir Baños for 4th in innings pitched (128).
He made his debut with the senior national team in the 2007 Pan American Games, losing a game to Miguel Gomez and Panama but recovering to top Nicaragua; Cuba won Gold. He finished 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in those Games. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he allowed one run in four innings; the IBAF website mistakenly credits this performance to similarly-named Eriel Sánchez, a catcher for the national team.
The Camagüey hurler struggled in 2007-2008 as his ERA rose to 4.83 but he still went 8-4 with a save. In the 2008 Haarlem Baseball Week, he allowed three runs in three innings against Japan. He was left off Cuba's initial roster for the 2008 Olympics but was a late replacement for Yulieski González, who was coming off a far superior season back in Cuba. In his first stint in Beijing, the southpaw made the move look brilliant as he shut out Taiwan for 7 innings before Norberto González finished off the 1-0 win. In his second start, he tossed two scoreless frames against the Chinese national team before leaving; Cuba was shuffling their pitchers that day to keep them rested.
Sánchez only pitched 7 games in Cuba in 2008-2009, going 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA.