Reliever Kevin Whelan has been working on his mechanics as a starter with Tampa. And if his contribution to Wednesday's no-hitter of Jupiter is any indication, he's doing well.
Whelan (2-0) went five innings in the Yankees' combined no-hitter Wednesday, striking out four and walking one in the 3-0 shutout at Legends Field.
The 23-year-old right-hander, who was able to use his fastball and slider for strikes, lowered his ERA to 1.73 in his sixth start for Tampa.
Whelan was a reliever for the past two seasons before beginning this year with Double-A Trenton, where he was 3-0 with four saves and a 2.90 ERA in 18 appearances. He made his first Minor League start June 12, giving up four runs on four hits in two frames, but has yielded just one run on six hits over his last 24 innings.
"I've enjoyed it," Whelan said of the transition to starting pitcher. "It's nothing permanent. I love coming in out of the bullpen. I think that's where my future is.
"They said I'll probably go back to Trenton [as a reliever]," he said.
The no-hitter was the second of the day as Class A Short-Season Vancouver's Brad Hertzler recorded a rain-shortened perfect game against Spokane.
"I've never been a part of one ... the bullpen did a great job," said Whelan, who had family watching from the stands. "It was exciting doing it with them there."
Reliever David Robertson fanned three and walked two over two frames before Joshua Schmidt struck out three and walked one over the final two innings to notch his second save and seal Tampa's ninth shutout.
Francisco Cervelli hit a two-RBI single in the fourth inning and Jose Tabata stroked a run-scoring hit in the seventh for the Yankees (18-8). Austin Jackson went 0-for-4 to snap his 16-game hitting streak.
Jupiter starter Ryan Tucker (5-6) surrendered three runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings.
Chris Coghlan, Cody Ross, John Purdom and Colin Roberson walked for the Hammerheads (11-15), who went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position in their third straight loss.