Pitchers of the Week
Here's a look at the top pitching performers in each league for the week ending June 7:
Adrian Sampson, Indianapolis
(2-0, 0.66 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 2/3 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 14 K)
The Pirates' No. 24 prospect was cruising along nicely this season until he gave up a season-high four earned runs in six frames May 28 against Toledo. A little more than a week later, that looks like just a speed bump rather than a roadblock. The 23-year-old right-hander allowed just one run in 6 2/3 frames Tuesday against Buffalo and then had argruably his best start of the season Sunday when he tossed seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. His ERA now stands at 2.69, and he's become an interesting starting depth option for the Pirates if they need him this summer.
Pacific Coast League
Tyler Lyons, Memphis
(2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 13 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 13 K)
Lyons spent two weeks with the Cardinals as the big club's fifth starter, and if he wants to get back to St. Louis soon, he'd be well-advised to keep doing what he did last week. The 27-year-old southpaw threw a seven-inning shutout Monday against Salt Lake and followed it up with six more scoreless frames with three hits and one walk allowed to go with eight strikeouts Saturday at Iowa. In eight starts with the Redbirds, Lyons is 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA, 56 strikeouts and nine walks over 48 1/3 innings.
Terry Doyle, Bowie
(2-0, 1.20 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 15 IP, 13 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 10 K)
A journeyman who has been in the White Sox, Red Sox, Braves and now Orioles systems, Doyle is beginning to find himself a solid home with Double-A Bowie. After starting the season as the club's long man out of the bullpen, the 29-year-old right-hander has moved to the rotation and began to flourish last week with his crowning achievement coming Sunday in a seven-hit shutout of Portland. Doyle's control has always been his calling card, and that's no different this season as he's issued only four free passes in 48 1/3 innings for a BB/9 rate of 0.4.
Jake Brigham, Mississippi
(1-0, 1.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 9 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 10 K)
Brigham went almost five years between winning Pitcher of the Week awards. Now he has two in as many weeks. He captured the honors last week for throwing eight scoreless innings May 29 against Pensacola, and last Thursday, he one-upped himself by going the distance and fanning 10 in a win over Jacksonville. After retiring the first 24 Suns batters, he took a perfect game into the ninth in that gem. He's 5-2 with a 3.42 ERA through his first 10 starts in the Braves system.
Thomas Lee, Springfield
(2-0, 1.13 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 16 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 9 K)
Between Lee and catcher Michael Ohlman, the Cardinals swept last week's Texas League awards with a pair of batterymates. With Ohlman behind the plate Tuesday, the right-hander tossed his first complete game, giving up a run on four hits, at home against Frisco. He lasted seven innings the next time out Sunday against Midland, also giving up one run on four hits in that strong outing. Since posting a 9.00 ERA in his first five starts, Lee has a 1.95 ERA in his last six outings and is 5-3 with a 4.59 ERA on the season.
Christopher Ellis, Inland Empire
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 6 K)
There was a time this season when the Angels' No. 9 prospect was very hittable -- namely, when he gave up 10 hits in six innings May 29. His start Thursday against that same Lake Elsinore was not one of those times. Ellis took a no-hitter into the seventh and finished with only the one hit allowed in seven frames, matching a season-long for a start. The 2014 third-rounder has a 3.88 ERA and has struck out 70 in 62 2/3 innings to kick off his first full season.
Antonio Romero, Lynchburg
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 3 K)
A Cuba native, Romero made the first six appearances of his career as a reliever this season for the Hillcats. They gave him his first start Friday against Winston-Salem, and the 24-year-old right-hander ran with the opportunity, giving up just the one unearned run and two hits in five innings -- 2 1/3 frames longer than his previous high. In 16 1/3 innings this season, he's struck out 18 batters, walked only three and owns a 3.31 ERA.
Florida State League
Murphy Smith, Dunedin
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 14 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR,0 HBP, 3 BB, 18 K)
You can only pitch where they'll take you and where they'll send you. After spending three seasons at Double-A Midland in the A's system, Smith signed a Minor League deal with the Blue Jays and was moved down a level to Class A Advanced Dunedin. But instead of viewing it as a demotion, the 27-year-old right-hander saw it as a new chance. He ran with it last week in a pair of scoreless seven-inning gems, including a near no-hitter Saturday against Brevard County. "It's obviously not ideal," Smith told MiLB.com. "But the way I look at it, here's my chance. My opportunities had dried up in Oakland and I have a new one here and I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity at any level here."
Tyler Mahle, Dayton
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 8 K)
Pitching in his first full season in the Reds system, Mahle is beginning to find his footing, thanks to some improved off-speed stuff. After fanning eight and allowing only two hits in seven scoreless innings Wednesday, the 2013 seventh-rounder has given up just one run or fewer in each of his last five starts with the Dragons. His 62 strikeouts rank second in the Midwest League, trailing only the recently promoted Stephen Gonsalves (77). His 2.63 ERA and 1.11 WHIP have also been solid.
South Atlantic League
Scarlyn Reyes, Savannah
(1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K)
Take what you will of a pitcher's record, but Reyes (5-4) is without a no-decision this season and has earned the win in five of his last six outings. Given the way he's pitched of late, that's no accident. Friday's outing against Greenville marked the first scoreless start of the 25-year-old right-hander's season. He hasn't given up more than three earned runs in any of his nine outings this season and has a 2.86 ERA to show for it.
Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.