Pitchers of the Week

For the week ending April 20

(Inland Empire 66ers)

By Bryan Smith / MLB.com | April 21, 2008 11:47 AM

International League
Charlie Zink, Pawtucket
2-0, 0.90 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO
Zink's knuckleball was especially effective in two starts on the road this week, both victories for Pawtucket. On Monday, Zink allowed just one hit in five innings, showing excellent command with just one walk. In his next outing, he held Indianapolis to two runs -- one earned -- over five innings, dropping his ERA to 3.12. Zink was amazingly efficient in the two starts, throwing just 140 pitches in 10 total innings, including just 59 in Monday's gem.

Pacific Coast League
Jorge De La Rosa, Omaha
2-0, 0.81 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
In the three seasons prior to 2008, De La Rosa tallied just 35 2/3 innings in the Minor Leagues, compared to 251 1/3 between the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. So, perhaps it should come as no surprise that his return to Triple-A has been sparkling, including two big victories last week. Sunday's gem, a six-inning shutout, dropped his ERA to 1.15, third best in the league. Particularly impressive has been the way De La Rosa bears down with runners in scoring position, allowing just two hits in 16 at-bats.

Eastern League
Chris Waters, Bowie
2-0, 0.71 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
After winning just eight games in each of the past two seasons, Waters is on pace to do far better this year (he's already 3-0). He was extremely stingy in two starts last week, allowing just five hits combined. The left-hander limited Erie to one hit over 5 2/3 innings Monday in his second start of the year. Next time out, he pitched through the seventh, allowing just one run. Waters has been fantastic from the stretch this season, holding opponents hitless and walking just one of the 17 batters he's faced with runners on base.

Southern League
Todd Doolittle, Carolina
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 G, 0 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO
Doolittle did quite a lot for the Carolina Mudcats last week, to the tune of a win and three saves. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound right-hander struck out eight -- two in each of four appearances -- in 4 1/3 innings while allowing just one hit and three walks. He protected ninth-inning leads in back-to-back wins at Jacksonville on April 14-15 and picked up his third save of the week on Sunday, April 20, against Tennessee. Saturday night, Doolittle had nabbed the victory by pitching a scoreless ninth before Cameron Maybin belted a walk-off homer in the bottom half of the frame. The Mississippi State product has yet to allow a run in eight appearances.

Texas League
Robert Mosebach, Arkansas
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
Mosebach made just one start on the week, but it was a good one as he hurled the Texas League's first complete game of the season -- the earliest the league has seen one in four years. Mosebach induced 15 groundouts over nine innings, and his groundout-to-flyout ratio is 2.75 for the season. Keeping the ball around the strike zone has made Mosebach extremely efficient, and he needed just 101 pitches (and one hour and 58 minutes) to complete the game. It was the right-hander's second complete game in as many seasons, as he produced one last July with Rancho Cucamonga.

California League
Timothy Sexton, Inland Empire
2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 SO
Sexton turned it up a notch this week, getting back to .500 after dropping his first two outings of the season. Sexton's first win came Monday after allowing just one run in six innings at home against Visalia. He was even better Saturday, pitching six perfect innings in the 66ers' one-hit shutout over High Desert. The big right-hander has sparkled against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .147 average this season.

Carolina League
Thomas Hanson, Myrtle Beach
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 12 SO
Last week, Hanson won this honor despite not winning a game, limiting opponents to one hit over his first 11 innings of work. This week, Hanson becomes the season's first back-to-back Pitcher of the Week winner, adding two wins while continuing to stymie Carolina League batters. His first victory came April 14 against Winston-Salem after hurling five scoreless innings, though the Pelicans' bullpen made it interesting with a 5-4 final score. Five days later, Hanson extended his scoreless innings streak to 22 with his second one-hit, six-inning shutout performance this season against Kinston, and this time he came away with the win.

Florida State League
Jeremy Hellickson, Vero Beach
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 13 SO
With all the attention on guys like David Price, Wade Davis and Jacob McGee, Hellickson has been a bit under the radar among Rays pitching prospects, but he's making a bid to emerge. Hellickson was fantastic in his lone start of the week, a 3-1 victory over Jupiter. With the winds blowing in, Hellickson held Jupiter to just three hits, and the game was completed in two hours and 11 minutes as a result. His 13 strikeouts were a career high for the Iowan, who fanned 10 batters twice last season for Class A Columbus. With 23 strikeouts already this year, Hellickson is three off the league lead, owned by teammate Heath Rollins, who has started one more game than Hellickson.

Midwest League
Jeremy Horst, Dayton
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 0 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO
Relievers get love, too. While Horst was honored for his two dominant outings this week, his last four appearances have all been noteworthy. In 11 1/3 innings, he's allowed just two hits and one walk while collecting 17 strikeouts. Horst has been successful no matter the situation, and it's reasonable to expect his recent dominance to yield save opportunities soon. On April 16, Horst earned a hold with three scoreless innings, following a good start from Luis Montano. On Sunday, he was called upon to stop the bleeding after the Dragons fell into a 9-0 hole. Right-handed hitters can't be pleased when they see Horst on the mound; he has limited them to a paltry .105 so far this year.

South Atlantic League
John Mariotti, Delmarva
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO
After a 3.27 ERA yielded a 0-1 record out of his first two starts this season, Mariotti dug down and came up with his first two victories in full-season ball. He kept his infielders on their toes, inducing 13 groundouts over six scoreless innings Tuesday and another 13 in seven scoreless Sunday. Between both games, he allowed just one fly out. His 6.43 groundout-to-flyout ratio this season is nearly identical to the 6.33 ratio he had in 12 appearances with Aberdeen last season.

Bryan Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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