In two starts for the I-Cubs during the week, Atkins was 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA. He pitched six scoreless innings in Nashville on May 31, giving up three hits and striking out a season-high eight batters. Atkins followed up that appearance by holding New Orleans to one run on three hits over six innings on June 5 at Principal Park.
After starting the 2010 season in the Cubs' bullpen, Atkins returned to the starting rotation on May 9 against Oklahoma City. Prior to this season, 127 of his 132 appearances had been as a starter. In six starts this year, Atkins is 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA. His WHIP (1.06) and opponents average (.211) are both third in the league and his overall ERA of 2.63 ranks fourth.
The league honor is the second for Cubs' pitchers this season (Andrew Cashner), third overall (Brad Snyder) and the first for Atkins since he garnered the same honor in August of 2009.