Angels' Skaggs among Pitchers of the Week

Salt Lake southpaw fanned 14, allowed only one hit over seven frames

Tyler Skaggs has averaged 11 strikeouts per nine innings over eight Minor League starts this season. (Paul Asay)

By Sam Dykstra / MiLB.com | July 18, 2016 5:00 PM

July 11-17 was quite a week for pitching in the Minor Leagues as no-hitters were thrown for Triple-A Durham, Double-A Montgomery and Class A Lansing and Augusta. But the single most impressive performance may have came from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs struck out 14 batters while allowing one hit and no walks over seven innings Thursday night for the Bees to win Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week. It was the 25-year-old left-hander's first such award since he won the Southern League honor on Aug. 15, 2011 while with Double-A Mobile in the D-backs system.

Skaggs' only hit allowed came on a two-out single by Reymond Fuentes in the first inning. After the base hit, he retired 19 Omaha batters in a row, a dozen via the punchout. His 14 total strikeouts tied a Salt Lake record. Taken as a whole, the start resulted in a Game Score of 94. For reference, only four outings in the Majors have led to Game Scores higher than 94, and each of those lasted the full nine innings.

The start was all the more notable in that the southpaw is still working his way back to the Majors following Tommy John surgery in 2014. Skaggs was slated to return to the Angels earlier this summer but was knocked back by biceps tendinitis, keeping him off the mound from April 20-June 22. He returned to the Pacific Coast League on July 2 and tossed this latest gem in his third start back with the Bees.

"I think today is the fruits of labor," Skaggs told MiLB.com after Thursday's gem. "I've put in a lot of work and had a lot of trials and tribulations this year, but things are finally starting to click and I can't wait for my next start. I'm not taking any of these games for granted. I sat on the sidelines for a long time, so now I cherish every chance I get to go out there and pitch. Every game to me is a big league game -- I'm just happy to be out there and healthy again."

The goal, of course, isn't to rack up the strikeouts at Salt Lake. Rather, with a 1.59 ERA and 23 strikeouts combined over his last three starts (17 innings) for the Bees, he's looking ready for Los Angeles. The day after his 14-K night, the Angels announced they would give him one more start before bringing him up to the Majors. With only one starter with an ERA below 4.00, the Halos, who sit fourth in the AL West, could use the help of a healthy and productive Skaggs.

"Ultimately, the decision is up to the organization," Skaggs told MiLB.com. "I need to get to that 90-pitch mark and be consistent. Going seven innings is my goal -- I don't care where it's at. I am just taking it pitch by pitch right now. I just want to keep doing what I've been doing. [It] was pretty fun, and we just need to build off that and not change anything."

Here is a complete list of Minor League Pitchers of the Week for July 11-17:

International -- Justin Marks, Durham (TB): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 SHO, 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 7 K

Pacific Coast -- Tyler Skaggs, Salt Lake (LAA): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 14 K

Eastern -- Myles Jaye, Erie (DET): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 11 K

Southern -- Brandon Woodruff, Biloxi (MIL): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 10 K

Texas -- J.C. Sulbaran, Springfield (STL): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HBP, 2 BB, 5 K

California -- Brett Kennedy, Lake Elsinore (SD): 2-0, 0.73 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 1/3 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 15 K

Carolina -- Erick Fedde, Potomac (WSH): 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 5 K

Florida State -- Elniery Garcia, Clearwater (PHI): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 6 K

Midwest -- Jose Hernandez, Quad Cities (HOU): 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 13 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 1 BB, 19 K

South Atlantic -- Jake McCasland, Augusta (SF): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 1 SHO, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 5 K

New York-Penn -- Travis Ott, Hudson Valley (TB): 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 12 K

Northwest -- Will Headean, Tri-City (SD): 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 HBP, 1 BB, 7 K

Appalachian -- Kolby Allard, Danville (ATL): 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 12 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 3 BB, 14 K

Pioneer -- Caleb Ferguson, Ogden (LAD): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HBP, 0 BB, 8 K

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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