Nunez Outstanding, However You Spell It

In the Caribbean they sometimes spell names in a manner that in these parts would be considered unconventional. For example, the Nunez pitching for the Gulf Coast Dodgers has his first name as "Jhonny" not "Johnny" the way most of us are used to. But they better start getting it right because by whatever spelling, he's making his name known.

A 20-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic, he currently lead the league in wins (6), innings pitched (57) and strikeouts (56). He's second in ERA at 1.58. Oh, and he hasn't lost a game.

He doesn't have the pitches that make you, "Ooh" and "Aahh" the way his teammate Clayton Kershaw does but he's been every bit as effective if not more so. He throws a fast ball that reaches into the low 90's and a slider that- well- could probably use more polish. Some have even suggested that he either sharpen it or junk it in favor of a curve ball if he wants to succeed on a higher level.

But he pounds the strike zone (he's only walked 19 thus far) and keeps hitters off balance. He goes deeper into games than any other pitcher in the league Hitters are managing only a paltry .177 average against him.

This year may be the first time you've ever heard of him but he's not a rookie having spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. There he was a combined 8-4, 2.26 indicating he was more than ready to be brought over.

The Dodgers have been wheezing of late, to put it mildly but that's not his fault. In his last start, he went seven innings, giving up only five hits and a single run.

Unfortunately, his teammates managed to score only one themselves and finally lost to the Marlins in 12, thus depriving Nunez of his seventh straight win but, more importantly, not assuring the championship for themselves.

However matters wind up, there's little question that Nunez has been spectacular. So, for Dodger fans to contemplate for the future, heeerrre's Jhonny.

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