Initially, Tom Eshelman was likely slated to just fill a temporarily vacated spot in the IronPigs rotation. As things turned out, he pitched well and the turbulence among starting pitchers at the upper levels of the minor league system continued, giving Eshelman a regular spot in the Lehigh Valley rotation.
Eshelman started the month of May with Double-A Reading, where he tossed seven innings of one-hit baseball on May 2 before receiving his first-ever promotion to the Triple-A level. Through five starts with the IronPigs, Eshelman is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA. Despite the late arrival he led the International League with 38 2/3 innings pitched in May, allowing just 27 hits, four walks, and six earned runs. His debut in Lehigh Valley was an eight-inning, four-hit gem against Rochester, which was followed with a seven-inning complete game win during the May 14 double-header with Buffalo.
RELATED: Insider members can read an analysis of Eshelman's Triple-A debut game.
After a pair of no-decisions, which included an eight-inning effort in Syracuse, Eshelman completed May in style by shutting out Indianapolis at Victory Field. It was the first nine-inning shutout by a Lehigh Valley starter in five years, and just the third in franchise history.
Eshelman also becomes the third member of the IronPigs to be honored as IL Player of the Month, joining first baseman Andy Tracy (June, 2010) and pitcher Phil Klein (August, 2016). 22-year-old Tom Eshelman is in his third season as a professional pitcher after being selected by Houston in the second round of the 2015 draft. He was part of a seven-player deal with Philadelphia prior to last season, which he split between the High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He has yet to make his MLB debut. Eshelman is a native of Carlsbad, California.
Not a member? Start your free trial now!