Pitchers of the Month: May

A welcome return to the zenith. A top prospect is in top form. Two unknowns stake their claim on the prospect ladder. It was an interesting month in the San Diego Padres minors. John Conniff finds the studs and duds on the hill.

Portland Beavers
Cesar Carrillo
3-2 3.35 ERA

While Carrillo did not post gaudy K/BB ratios (21/10), he did allow fewer hits (34) than innings pitched (37.2) and held PCL batters to a .235 average. The velocity is back for Carrillo, who underwent Tommy John surgery a few years ago. The key for him is how well he is commanding his fastball, particularly his two-seamer which he had trouble with last year. He led the staff in innings pitched and allowed fewer earned runs than any other starter on the staff.

Prospect Watch: Will Inman was 0-3 with a 3.99 ERA, but his peripheral stats weren't bad; 23/12 K/BB ratio in 29.1 IP and held batters to a .230 batting average. Radhames Liz went 2-1 with a 3.57 ERA and might be the most likely starter to be called up if the big team needs a spot starter. Liz struck out 18 in 22 IP against nine walks and 22 hits.

Disappointments: Josh Geer continues to put up good K/BB ratios of 19/3 but was pounded for 51 hits in 31.2 innings for a 6.75 ERA, as PCL batters hit .370 against him.

San Antonio Missions
Wynn Pelzer
4-0, 2.43 ERA

After a tough April, Pelzer turned around his season, lowering his ERA from 7.88 in April to 2.43 in May. Pelzer struck out 31 batters in 29.2 innings against only eight walks and 23 hits. Additionally, he held Texas League batters to a .213 batting average, the lowest of any Missions' starter.

Prospect Watch: Simon Castro had his first bad outing of the season this month, but continued to roll along, holding Texas League batters to a .235 average and striking out 27 against 11 walks. Relief pitcher Evan Scribner pounded the strike zone with 24 strikeouts in 15.2 IPs against only three walks. Brandon Gomes had a 1.26 ERA in 14.1 IP with a 20/4 K/BB ratio. The dominating Missions' bullpen was led by Craig Italiano who was 4-for-5 in save opportunities with a 1.26 ERA, as batters were only able to hit .200 against him.

Disappointments: With a staff ERA of 3.22 which was unnecessarily inflated by Chris Young's rehab stint, it's difficult to find a bad performance.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Juan Oramas
3-0, 1.97 ERA

Last month, Oramas was the pitcher of the month in Fort Wayne, this month he moves up a level and takes the crown here as well. Oramas struck out 32 batters in 32 IP against 10 walks and 24 hits as Cal League batters hit .203 against him. He also came within two outs of a perfect game, featuring a low-90s fastball with plus secondary pitches.

Prospect Watch: Closer Brad Brach continues to put up some great numbers with 11 saves in 12 save opportunities. He is striking out more than a batter an inning with a 17/2 K/BB ratio in 13 IP. RHP Erik Davis was 4-0 and struck out 37 batters in 34.1 IP against 15 walks. He caught a little too much of the plate at times, as batters hit .268 against him but was second on the team in innings pitched at 34.1. Anthony Bass was 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA with a great K/BB ratio of 31/4 but, like his fellow teammate Davis, catches a tad too much of the plate. In the bullpen, Rob Musgrave and Colt Hynes were both effective. Musgrave pitched 16.1 innings, limiting Cal League batters to a .172 average to go along with a 20/4 K/BB ratio. Hynes was 2-0 and struck out 10 in 10 IP against only two walks.

Disappointments: RHP Jorge Reyes was 3-3 with a 6.16 ERA, as Cal League batters hit .315 against him.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Daniel Sarria
1-0, 2.08 ERA

The Cuban native Sarris split time between coming out of the bullpen before being moved into the rotation for three starts. In 26.1 IP, he had an ERA of 2.08 with a 26/7 K/BB ratio, as batters hit only .221 against him. Sarria led the starters in strikeout and WHIP and is a pitcher that relies much more on secondary stuff than a big fastball.

Prospect Watch: Middle reliever Miles Mikolas has good size at 6-foot-5 and 230-pounds and was impressive this month. Mikolas was 2-0 in 17 IP with a 12/3 K/BB ratio as Miderst League batters hit only .175 against him. Last year's third-round pick, Jerry Sullivan, put up solid numbers with at 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA. Sullivan had a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 33.1 IP. Closer RHP Nick Schumacher continues to do the job with 13 K's in 13 IP against only three walks, as he was 8-for-10 in save opportunities.

Disappointments: One of the major components of the Jake Peavy trade last year was 6-foot-6 right-hander Dexter Carter who many believe has as much talent as any of the pitchers that they acquired. Carter was 0-1 in three starts with an 8.47 ERA, giving up 16 earned runs in 17 IP.

MadFriars Pitcher of the Month: Wynn Pelzer

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