OaklandClubhouse Pitcher of the Month: April/May
Stats: 56 IP, 3.21 ERA, 48:23 K:BB, 1.36 GO/AO
Nate Long was a frequently mentioned pitcher in this feature last season, and he is off to another terrific start for Midland in 2015. Long has been with the RockHounds all season, save for one spot start with Nashville. The rest of the Texas Leauge would be more than happy to see long move up to the Pacific Coast League on a full-time basis. In 10 outings for Midland, Long has a 2.81 ERA and a .220 BAA. Hopefully Long will get that opportunity in Triple-A the next time there is an opening in the Sounds’ rotation.
Ryan Dull, Midland: 24.1 IP, 0.37 ERA, 33:5 K:BB, 3 SV, .180 BAA
It’s difficult for relievers to earn the pitcher of the month award because they don’t throw as many innings as starters, but Dull is deserving of a lot of attention for his start to the year. The right-hander has allowed one run all season and is slicing through the Texas League competition. His WHIP is 0.86 and he has yet to allow a homerun. Dull pitched well in the Texas Leauge last season, as well, and could move up to Nashville soon.
Dylan Covey, Stockton: 57.1 IP, 3.45 ERA, .230 BAA, 3.09 GO/AO
Covey still isn’t striking out as many hitters as one would expect (34 thus far), but he has been much more consistent this season. In eight starts, he has allowed as many as three runs just three times and he has gone at least five innings in all but one start. Covey has a ridiculous 60% groundball rate. If he can generate a little more swing-and-miss to his game, Covey will take his game to an even higher level.
Dillon Overton, Stockton: 37.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 35:9 K:BB
Despite pitching with diminished velocity, Overton has baffled Cal League hitters in the early going. With the exception of one bad start that saw him allow 10 hits and seven runs in two innings, Overton has been a nearly automatic five innings of dominance for the Ports. The A’s are keeping his innings limited in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, but when he has been on the mound, he has been spotting his pitches extremely well and has K’d nearly a batter an inning.
Pat Venditte, Nashville: 31.2 IP, 1.42 ERA, 32:12 K:BB, .173 BAA, 0.98 WHIP
Famous for being a switch-pitcher, Venditte has proven to be more than an on-field curiosity for Nashville this season. Plugged into a number of roles with the Sounds, Venditte has been an anchor in the bullpen, pitching in the beginning, middle and late innings. He has allowed only one homerun. Venditte has held left-handers to an .098 BA.
Others Considered: Brendan McCurry, Stockton (24 IP, 33:6 K:BB, 3.38 ERA, 1.86 GO/AO), Ryan Verdugo, Nashville (29.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.19 WHIP), Jonathan Joseph, Midland/Stockton (31 IP, 2.61 ERA, 36:11 K:BB), Carlos Navas, Beloit (22.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 27:9 K:BB)