OaklandClubhouse Pitcher of the Month: April
Daniel Mengden, Midland RockHounds
23 IP, 0.78 ERA, 28 K, 12 BB, 1.17 WHIP, 0 HRA
Mengden’s stay in the Texas League proved to be a relatively short one, as the right-hander parlayed a dominating April into a promotion to Triple-A at the start of May. While he was with the RockHounds, Mengden posted a 10.9 K/9 and posted a 57% groundball rate. He didn’t allow a homerun and he held Texas League batters to a .188 average.
Mengden’s walk rate was 4.69 per nine, but his career rate going into this season was around 2 per nine, so that is likely to come down as the season goes on. He is using all four of his pitches (fastball, cutter, change-up and curveball) well and is quickly positioning himself for a potential major-league call-up later in the year.
Sean Manaea, Nashville: 18 IP, 1.50 ERA, 21 K, 4 BB, 1.11 WHIP
Manaea made only three starts for Nashville before earning a promotion to the big leagues, but he made them memorable. Manaea allowed only 20 base-runners in 18 innings over those three outings, thoroughly smothering Triple-A batters. He struck-out 10.5 per nine and walked only 2 per nine. His groundball rate was also above 50%. Those three starts could be the only three Manaea makes in Triple-A this year if he can secure a permanent spot in the A’s rotation. The A’s will give him every opportunity to do so this month.
Evan Manarino, Beloit: 20.2 IP, 0.87 ERA, 20 K, 3 BB, 0.995 WHIP
Manarino is quietly off to a breakout start for the Beloit Snappers. The left-hander was a senior sign out of last year’s draft. He is old for his level thanks to missing time in college due to Tommy John surgery, but Manarino’s numbers would be impressive at any age. He allowed 20 baserunners in 20.2 innings and didn’t allow a homer. He could be in-line for an early season promotion to Stockton if there is an opening.
Daniel Gossett, Stockton: 19 IP, 3.32 ERA, 26 K, 5 BB, 1.10 WHIP
Gossett was breezing through April until having to leave his fourth start of the month mid-batter with an arm injury. The injury turned out to be minor and Gossett missed only 10 days (he returned to the active roster on Wednesday). Before the injury, Gossett was leading the Cal League in strike-outs. He also allowed two runs or less in each of his first three starts. Gossett’s April was a welcome start after he struggled out of the gate with Beloit last spring.
Angel Duno, Beloit: 23 IP, 1.96 ERA, 23 K, 1 BB, 0.957 WHIP
Duno’s final start of April was 5.2 innings pitched with one run allowed and six strike-outs. However, the most notable aspect of the start may have been the one walk he allowed, which was remarkably his first of the season. Duno has walked exactly five batters over the past two seasons (95 innings). This year, he’s not just avoiding free passes. Duno allowed only 22 base-runners in April and held opposing batters to a .233 average. He struck-out a batter per inning and allowed only one homerun. The 22-year-old will be one to watch this year.
Dillon Overton: 26.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 25 K, 4 BB; Boomer Biegalski, Beloit: 22.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, 23 K, 7 BB; Zack Erwin, Stockton: 21.1 IP, 1.27 ERA, 18 K, 10 BB; Carlos Navas, Stockton: 13 IP, 1.38 ERA, 18 K, 5 BB, 1.00 WHIP; Tucker Healy, Nashville: 9.2 IP, 2.79 ERA, 17 K, 5 BB, 1.19 WHIP; Aaron Kurcz, Midland: 11 IP, 1.64 ERA, 10 K, 0 BB, 0.455 WHIP; Ryan Doolittle, Midland: 10.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 K, 1 BB, 0.495 WHIP; Patrick Schuster, Nashville: 9.1 IP, 1.93 ERA, 13 K, 1 BB, 0.769 WHIP; Kyle Friedrichs, Beloit: 21.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 13 K, 3 BB, 1.179 WHIP, 8.3 PIP