Pitchers of the Week07/23/2012 5:30 PM ET
By John Parker / MLB.com
Jeff Manship, Rochester
(2-0, 2.25 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 11 K)
Manship hasn't fared well in the Majors this season -- he's allowed 13 runs on 18 hits (four of them homers) over 10 2/3 innings -- but he's been dominant in the IL, where he owns a 6-1 record and 2.29 ERA. The 27-year-old right-hander won a pair of road starts this week, fanning seven Tides in six innings at Norfolk on Tuesday before holding Durham to one run on three hits over six frames on Sunday. In his last five starts with the Red Wings, Manship has allowed three earned runs in 25 innings.
Pacific Coast League
J.D. Martin, New Orleans
(1-0, 1.50 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K)
It's been a tough season for Martin, whose 6.28 ERA is the highest mark of his career. The 29-year-old right-hander appeared to turn a corner this week, however, holding Iowa and Nashville to just two runs on six hits over 12 solid frames. Martin fanned a season-high seven batters against the Sounds on Saturday and continued to show tremendous command of his pitches -- he's walked one batter in his last 33 2/3 innings.
Austin Hyatt, Reading
(2-0, 0.66 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 2/3 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 13 K)
Hyatt, who finished second in the organization in strikeouts in both 2010 and 2011, has been a road warrior for the R-Phils in 2012, with eight of his 10 starts with the club coming away from FirstEnergy Stadium. After being ripped for nine runs (six earned) over four innings in his previous outing, the 26-year-old right-hander held host Portland to a pair of hits while fanning eight over seven scoreless frames on Monday, then scattered seven hits over 6 2/3 innings on Saturday to win at Trenton.
Graham Taylor, Jacksonville
(2-0, 0.69 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 8 K)
After missing the entire 2010 season with an injury, Taylor is still trying to regain the form that earned him three Major League starts in 2009. The 28-year-old southpaw seems to have found it this month, during which he's allowed just two runs in 18 innings. On Monday he earned his first victory in more than a month with six scoreless frames at Pensacola, then came back to go seven strong innings against Mississippi on Sunday.
Jose Cisnero, Corpus Christi
(2-0, 1.72 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 15 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 4 BB, 15 K)
The wiry Cisnero has been strong all season for the Hooks but never more so than this week, in which he won his sixth and seventh consecutive decisions. The 23-year-old right-hander fanned eight RockHounds over 6 2/3 innings at Midland on Tuesday before closing out the week with a nine-inning complete game against Frisco on Sunday in which he allowed one run on five hits without walking a batter. Cisnero, who has earned the win in each of his last five starts, leads the Texas League with 116 strikeouts and ranks second with nine wins.
Nick Maronde, Inland Empire
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 5 BB, 16 K)
The left-handed Maronde began the season with the 66ers and was sharp in six starts before being sidelined by a strained lat muscle in early May. He's been overwhelming since returning to the Inland Empire rotation on July 11. In his second game back, Maronde held Stockton hitless while striking out 10 batters over seven innings on Tuesday. Though the 66ers ultimately lost that game in 11 innings, Maronde picked up a victory on Sunday with six more scoreless frames at San Jose. The 22-year-old University of Florida product has allowed no runs on six hits while striking out 17 over 18 innings since his return.
Nathan Karns, Potomac
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 8 K)
A 12th-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2009, injuries prevented Karns from starting his pro career until 2011. It's been a steep rise for the 24-year-old right-hander ever since, culminating in a pair of near-perfect starts this week. Karns held visiting Lynchburg to a single and a pair of walks over six innings on Monday in Potomac's 14-0 win, then was downright unhittable against Myrtle Beach on Saturday. Karns allowed one Pelican to reach base on an error but was otherwise perfect, needing just 61 pitches to work six hitless frames. The Nationals lost the combined no-hitter in the ninth but still prevailed, 9-0.
Florida State League
Jesse Hernandez, Dunedin
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 12 K)
A non-drafted free agent whom the Blue Jays signed out of Central Michigan in 2010, Hernandez was named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week in mid-June after losing a one-hitter but had had mixed results at the Class A Advanced level before this week. Facing first-half South Division champion St. Lucie on Friday, the right-hander came within one strike of a no-hitter before yielding a two-out single in the ninth. Despite the spoiling hit, Hernandez struck out a career-high 12 batters to record his first Florida State League victory.
Johnny Barbato, Fort Wayne
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 5 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K)
Barbato was no slouch earlier in the season, but his performance in July has been all but perfect. Of the 17 batters the right-hander (who turned 20 on July 11) faced in three relief appearances this week, seven struck out, one walked (and was caught stealing) and nine more made outs on balls in play. None had hits. Barbato has allowed one hit in his last 12 1/3 innings and has held Midwest League hitters to a .180 average for the season -- with right-handed hitters managing just a .116 mark.
South Atlantic League
Charlie Lowell, Greensboro
(2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 23 K)
Lowell pitched 14 innings this week and made just three mistakes: one was a walk, one a hit batsman and one a home run. The other 42 batters he faced did exactly nothing. Facing Kannapolis on Monday, Lowell had a no-hitter going through 6 2/3 innings before hanging a slider to Chris Curley for a solo blast. He finished out his seven frames by fanning Kevan Smith for his career-best 14th strikeout. At Asheville on Friday, Lowell only struck out nine but stifled the Tourists completely with seven no-hit innings. In all, Lowell has allowed three hits while striking out 29 in his last 20 innings.
New York-Penn League
Kyle Helisek, Batavia
(0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 2 K)
A 30th-round pick out of Villanova in last month's Draft, Helisek has been impressive in his brief pro career. After giving up four runs in four innings at Hudson Valley on July 12, the 22-year-old southpaw tossed six hitless frames at Jamestown on Wednesday, striking out two without walking a batter. One Jammer reached base on an error but was quickly picked off by Helisek, who has allowed only 11 hits in his first 22 professional innings.
Peter Tago, Tri-City
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 2 K)
Tago began his Friday start against Salem-Keizer with a 7.53 ERA and ended it eight innings later with a 5.89 mark. The right-hander, a first-round pick in the 2010 Draft, held the Volcanoes to three hits and three walks while fanning a pair in the scoreless outing. It was not only the longest appearance of the 20-year-old Tago's career but also his first scoreless one in 26 games.
Todd Kibby, Bristol
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K)
Kibby worked largely as a reliever with the Bri-Sox last season but has pitched exclusively as a starter this year and delivered strong results. The 2011 37th-round pick limited host Pulaski to a double and three singles over seven scoreless innings on Sunday. The left-hander struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Kibby has yet to allow a home run in 39 1/3 innings this season and has been particularly effective on the road, where he owns a 0.60 ERA in 15 innings over two starts.
Kazuki Nishijima, Ogden
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 4 K)
Despite working out of the bullpen, Nishijima has picked up five victories in eight appearances this year for the Raptors. The left-hander had his finest outing of the season at Great Falls on Friday, retiring all 15 Voyagers he faced in order in Ogden's 2-1 win. After posting a 5.51 ERA in 14 appearances with the Raptors last season, the 23-year-old Nishijima has a 2.70 mark this year and has issued six walks in 56 career Pioneer League innings.