Snap-back: Pitchers Paradise

Get caught up on what some former Snappers have been up to in the last week around baseball.

By Jarrah Vella-Wright / Beloit Snappers | May 12, 2017 3:28 PM ET

Unless you're one of those baseball fanatics who look at every box score throughout professional baseball, you've probably missed some of the great feats that your former Snappers have achieved throughout the last few games. Each week we'll do all the research for you and spotlight a couple of past players who've been lighting up the stat sheet in the minors and majors. In this week's snap-back, we're giving the pitchers some love. We take you back to Korea, where another former Snapper has been off to a hot start this season, while Stateside a journeyman reliever is pitching well for the Chicago Cubs.

MLB: Brian Duensing (4 G, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 6 SO)

A former starter with the Minnesota Twins, Duensing has struggled since 2010 when he had a 10-3 record with a 2.62 ERA across 130 2/3 innings. The southpaw has since joined the Chicago Cubs in 2017 where he has worked exclusively out of the bullpen. In his last four games with the club, the 34-year-old hasn't allowed a run across 5 1/3 innings, striking out six in the process. While far from a household name, Duensing has proven over the last couple of weeks that he still has a place on a major league roster. When Duensing was coming up through the Twins organization as a youngster drafted out of the University of Nebraska, he made 11 starts with Beloit in 2006. That year he had a 2.94 ERA across 70 1/3 innings, striking out 55 and walking just 14. His best start came on May 10th at West Michigan when Duensing threw a five-hit, complete game shutout as the Snappers won 2-0 in 16 innings.

AA: Andy Paz (.412 AVG, 6 RBI, 2 BB)

One of the hottest hitters in the Athletics farm system, Paz has hit .412 with six RBI and two walks since the start of May, including three consecutive multi-hit appearances. That's the best numbers put up by any Midland batter in the team's last 10 games, and it's also the third-best batting average among the Texas League during that span. Paz also has a .290 batting average across 19 games thus far in 2017, ranking him fifth among RockHounds hitters. Midland currently have a 19-14 record and are tied with San Antonio atop the Southern division of the Texas League. Paz previously spent a total of three years in Beloit, racking up 31 games between 2014 and 2016. He had just 19 hits in 103 at-bats but did tally three doubles and 11 RBIs.

AA/A (Adv.): Brett Graves (8.2 IP, 1 ER, 10 SO)

Brett Graves is enjoying an impressive start to his 2017 campaign. Having allowed just one run across his first 14 1/3 innings, Graves has continued that great run of form into the month of May. Fresh off throwing 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball on May 2nd, Graves was rewarded with a promotion to Double-A Midland where he would allow just one run on four hits across five innings in his debut on May 7. All up, Graves has an ERA of just 2.43 in eight appearances (29 2/3 innings) this year. A Snapper in 2015, Graves went 12-8 across 28 starts with Beloit two seasons ago, a year in which he led the team in wins and finished second in innings pitched and strikeouts. Already mentioned in a previous Snap-back, it is a testament to the season that Graves is putting together that he is highlighted yet again this early in the season. It is

Korea: Jeff Manship (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 SO)

2016 was a memorable year for this former Snapper, as Jeff Manship appeared in 56 games with the Cleveland Indians last season, including in games two and six of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs. Despite helping the Tribe into their first postseason since 2013, Manship became a free agent in late 2016 and wasn't offered a contract by any of the other 29 big league organizations, instead opting to join NC Dinos in the Korean league. The 32-year-old is presently on a $1.6 million contract working as a starter. He's allowed just one earned run in his last three games combined, including a five-inning, three-hit shutout on May 10th against the Nexen Heroes.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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