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Pitchers of the Week

For the week ending April 27
April 28, 2008
International League
Darrell Rasner, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 14.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 SO
Now in his seventh season in the Minor Leagues, the right-handed Rasner nevertheless entered 2008 with more career appearances in the Major Leagues than at Triple-A. If he keeps pitching as well as he has this year, that is a fact that will not change going forward. Rasner has yet to allow more than one earned run in any of his five starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year. Nor has he given up as many hits in a game as innings pitched. He was particularly brilliant this week, working eight scoreless innings Monday in the Yankees' 3-0 victory over Rochester, before dueling for a 2-1 win with six more good innings in a doubleheader opener against Syracuse on Sunday, improving to 4-0.

Pacific Coast League
Sean Gallagher, Iowa
1-0, 1.17 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO
Looking to salvage his position as the next likely I-Cubs hurler to make the Major League roster, Gallagher had one of the best starts of his career at home against Oklahoma Tuesday. The right-hander struck out 12 batters, working into the eighth inning to pick up his second victory of the season. Gallagher is now 2-0 in Des Moines, as his two best outings have come in front of the home crowd. The lone run allowed in his Tuesday start was a solo shot by Chris Shelton, after which Gallagher would bear down, retiring the next 10 RedHawks -- including seven via strikeout -- to assure himself the victory.

Eastern League
Kris Johnson, Portland
2-0, 0.77 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 11.2 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
Portland temporarily lost its best pitcher last week when Justin Masterson was called up Thursday to make an emergency start for the Boston Red Sox. Maybe Kris Johnson felt responsible for taking the reins, as the southpaw paired up a good Tuesday start with an even better outing on Sunday and his second victory of the week. After his disastrous home debut in Portland April 12, Johnson redeemed himself with the two quality efforts coming at home. Tuesday's effort saw him rack up six strikeouts and seven groundball outs over 5 2/3 innings as the Sea Dogs' offense generated 11 runs to secure the victory. Sunday's 3-0 win was all about Johnson, who was brilliant over six shutout innings, issuing no walks in a start for the first time since Aug. 12, 2007.

Southern League
Sam Narron, Huntsville
1-0, 1.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 9.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO
A clean sweep for Huntsville this week, as Narron joins teammate Mat Gamel who claimed the weekly honors for offensive players. It's only fitting, as Gamel's RBI double and run scored in the first inning on April 23 was all the offense Narron would need in a 9-1 win over Mississippi, his first complete game since Aug, 1, 2007. Narron took a perfect game into the eighth inning, retiring Mississippi's first 23 hitters, before Diory Hernandez tripled and Mark Jurich walked in the eighth. It should be noted left-handed hitters are batting just .161 against the southpaw this season.

Texas League
Carlos Rosa, NW Arkansas
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
Rosa entered the week with a record of 1-2, despite a 2.25 ERA and not having allowed more than two earned runs in any start. So, with the Naturals offense not creating any cushions for him, Rosa decided not to take any chances, pitching eight shutout innings on Friday against Arkansas to grab his first home win. Rosa wrapped up the "W" with just 89 pitches, throwing 59 for strikes. His nine strikeouts were a season-high, and he now has 25 for the season against just five walks. One key for Rosa has been starting perfect -- or at least strong -- as the Dominican native has yet to allow a run in the first two innings of a start.

California League
Shane Lindsay, Modesto
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
When Shane Lindsay has been healthy in his career, he's been dominant. In his previous three seasons in the Rockies organization, Lindsay pitched just 150 2/3 innings, but with 103 hits allowed and 229 strikeouts, his arm has always been regarded as a special one. The Rockies took a risk over the winter by leaving Lindsay off their 40-man roster and eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, hoping other teams would regard him as too raw or potentially fragile to spend a pick on. The gamble worked, and so far this year Lindsay is making opposing organizations regret it. The 23-year-old right-hander has allowed just one hit in each of his last three starts, spanning 15 innings, while racking up 19 strikeouts.

Carolina League
Brandon Erbe, Frederick
2-0, 1.38 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 SO
On May 6 last season, Erbe was Frederick's best pitcher, standing 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA after his first six starts in the Carolina League. The next 19 didn't go so well, however, as Erbe would post a 7.58 ERA over the subsequent 84 1/3 innings. The Orioles are hoping to avoid déjà vu this season, as Erbe has started this season just as brilliantly. Last week, Erbe came up with a pair of one-run outings, both at home in Frederick, both more than enough for a Keys win. Last season, Erbe pitched just four day games, and they were equally ugly, with 27 runs allowed over 18 1/3 innings. On Sunday, Erbe won his second daytime start of 2008, holding Potomac to six hits over six innings of a 9-2 Keys victory.

Florida State League
Alberto Bastardo, Clearwater
1-0, 1.20 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 15.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 25 SO
After a 9-0, 1.87 ERA run in Lakewood last year, Bastardo's 2007 season culminated in a promotion to Clearwater. The southpaw had just one start for the Threshers last Sept. 1, and though he allowed four runs in five innings, he also fanned 12 batters to earn his first Florida State League win. Since then, some things have stayed the same, and some things have improved. Bastardo has cut down on the amount of runs he's allowed while staying consistent -- or better -- with his strikeout totals. In two starts last week, he struck out 12 batters and then 13, the latter number from Sunday corresponding with eight shutout innings and his second win on the season. It was Bastardo's 12th straight winning decision, and he has not lost a game since July 8, 2006 in the Gulf Coast League.

Midwest League
Kyle Ginley, Lansing
2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.2 IP, 10 H, 2R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO
Outside of a minor 13-run debacle on April 25, the Lansing Lugnuts pitching staff was brilliant last week, allowing just nine runs combined in the club's other five games. As a result, Lansing walks away with a pair of Pitcher of the Week recipients. Our first hero, Kyle Ginley, set the tone on Monday allowing Peoria just an unearned run over five innings to grab his third win of the season. Ginley would bookend the accomplishment on Saturday, helping the team rebound from its 13-2 loss by limiting Clinton to one unearned run in 7 2/3 innings -- and shrinking his season ERA to 0.89.

Nathan Starner, Lansing
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 SO
In Lansing's land of anything you can do, I can do better, it was hard to pick a winner, as Nathan Starner treated opponents to a nasty one-two combination pitching the day after Ginley. The southpaw was flawless, working six scoreless innings April 22 and seven of the same five days later, and collecting seven strikeouts on both occasions. Starner has now allowed just six singles to left-handed hitters this season as they are managing a mere .366 OPS against him.

South Atlantic League
Scott Diamond, Rome
2-0, 0.75 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO
Consider this a week for left-handed pitchers, as Diamond becomes the fifth southpaw to claim Pitcher of the Week honors. Diamond accomplished the feat with a pair of victories for the Rome Braves, pitching six stellar innings in both starts. Diamond managed Monday's outing, scattering eight hits and one earned run, a solo shot by Savannah cleanup hitter Jordan Abruzzo. In his next effort, also against Savannah, Diamond was even stingier, allowing no runs on just four hits, with only a triple by Abruzzo going for extra-bases, as he earned his second consecutive and second career victory.

Bryan Smith is an associate reporter for