05/29/2007 1:56 PM ET
Pitchers of the Week
From May 21 to May 27
By Jeff Birnbaum / MLB.com
Mitch Talbot, Durham
2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 10 SO
After several lackluster outings that saw his ERA balloon to 8.21, Talbot settled down in his next two starts, picking up two consecutive wins for the Bulls. On Monday, the 23-year-old right-hander put a stranglehold on the Syracuse batters, allowing one run on four hits and striking out five in six innings of work. Talbot one-upped himself in his next outing on Sunday against Rochester, pitching eight innings of shutout ball while surrendering only two hits to record his first shutout since an April 9 start against Pawtucket.
Pacific Coast League
Philip Barzilla, Round Rock
2-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
Barzilla tossed seven strong innings on Monday in a 5-1 victory over the Iowa Cubs, allowing one run on three hits while striking out three and retiring the last 13 batters he faced. The 28-year-old southpaw picked up his fourth-consecutive victory on Saturday after throwing another seven-inning, one-run gem in the Express' 3-1 win against Memphis. The victory moved Barzilla into second place in the Pacific Coast League with six wins.
Kyle Yates, New Hampshire
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO
The Fisher Cats couldn't have asked for two better outings from their 24-year-old right-hander last week. On Monday, Yates pitched a season-high eight innings of shutout work while giving up three hits and striking out six without surrendering a walk in a 1-0 win over Reading. On Sunday against Binghamton, Yates proved his previous outing was no fluke by pitching six innings of no-run baseball, allowing five hits and striking out three in a 4-0 shutout.
Chance Douglass, Corpus Christi Hooks
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
Douglass only had one start last week, but boy did he make the most of it. On Thursday the 23-year-old right-hander recorded the Hooks' first complete-game shutout by a pitcher this season, striking out three while giving up just four hits and a walk in Corpus Christi's 3-0 win over Arkansas. In his last three starts, Douglass (2-2) has given up just two runs on 13 hits spanning 23 innings.
Joe Woerman, West Tenn
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 12 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 7 BB, 15 SO
Woerman hurled 12 scoreless innings over two starts this week, running his streak of consecutive shutout frames to 19 and lowering his ERA to 2.90 on the season. The 24-year-old has allowed just two hits over each of his past three starts, and opponents are now batting just .170 against him. On May 21 against Huntsville, the right-hander struck out a season-high eight batters over six innings of work. Woerman, the Seattle Mariners' 11th-round draft pick in 2003, has whiffed 50 batters over 49 2/3 innings pitched this season.
Wade Leblanc, Lake Elsinore
1-0, 2.31 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO
After giving up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings on Tuesday in an outing that ended in a no-decision, Leblanc quickly shoved that mediocre performance out of his memory in time to rebound for his next start against Lancaster. Looking every bit like the pitcher who ranks fifth in the California League with a 2.19 ERA, Leblanc fanned six and allowed only two hits and a walk in six innings of shutout work in the Storms' 7-1 win.
Chris Salamida, Salem
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO
In Salamida's two starts, the Avalanche offense came down hard on its opponents, scoring a combined 23 runs in a pair of run-away victories. But with the way the 23-year-old southpaw was hurling the ball, the offensive onslaught simply provided additional aesthetics to two straight dominating pitching performances. Salamida did not give up an earned run in 11 2/3 innings of work against Kinston and Frederick, allowing a total of 10 hits while striking out seven in the two victories to even his record at 3-3 on the year.
Florida State League
Joba Chamberlain, Tampa
1-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 SO
After the former Nebraska stud dominated the Hawaiian Winter League in 2006, experts touted Chamberlain as one of the league's top prospects. So far, it looks like they were right. On Tuesday, the young gun pitched a solid six innings, surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking two in a 6-3 win over Jupiter. But that start proved to be just an appetizer to the main course he served against Vero Beach on Sunday. In eight innings of shutout work, Chamberlain struck out a season-high nine batters, yielding only two hits and a pair of walks and dropping his ERA to an astounding 1.61 through five starts.
Kasey Kiker, Clinton
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 17 SO
What a way to make a pro debut. After spending the first part of the season in extended Spring Training, the Texas Rangers' 2006 first-round pick tossed a one-hitter in five shutout innings Monday, whiffing nine and walking two in his first start with the LumberKings. The 19-year-old southpaw picked up his first pro victory in his second start five days later, pitching another five-inning shutout in which he fanned eight batters, giving up four hits and three walks.
South Atlantic League
Heath Rollins, Columbus
2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 12 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO
Rollins celebrated his 22nd birthday in grand fashion last week, picking up two victories to give him the most wins (six) among undefeated pitchers in the South Atlantic League. The right-hander began his birthday celebration on Tuesday by giving up just one earned run on six hits and striking out five in the Catfish's 4-2 win over Charleston. In a 4-2 win over Savannah, Rollins allowed one unearned run and struck out five without giving up a walk. His minuscule 1.04 ERA is second in the league.
Jeff Birnbaum is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Benjamin Hill contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.