TigsTown's June Pitchers of the Month

The Tigers have been struggling as of late to find bodies to insert in the rotation, especially in the month of June with Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman both exiting. Who has been stepping up down in the minor leagues in June?

Toledo – Virgil Vasquez (RHP)
It was a rough start to the season for Vasquez, posting ERAs north of six during each of the first two months of the season. However, with summer came more typical Virgil Vasquez performances. In six June starts, Virgil went 3-2 with a 3.27 ERA and sparkling 0.94 WHIP. Vasquez allowed only 30 hits in 41 1/3 innings of work, and combined that by issuing only nine free passes. In one month, Vasquez lowered his season ERA from over six, to under five.
Runner-Up: Blaine Neal (RHP)

Erie – Danny Christensen (LHP)
Christensen has been a solid component of the Erie rotation all season long. He's not blowing people away, or posting gaudy numbers, but he's just getting the job done for Manager Tom Brookens. June was that month where Danny demanded attention, sporting a dominating 1.85 ERA in five starts, including one complete game (his second of the season). Despite the general struggles of the Erie team, Christensen was so good, he posted a 3-1 mark for the month, and lined himself up to be one of the key cogs in the team's hopeful push toward the .500 mark.
Runner-Up: Casey Fien (RHP)

Lakeland – Jonah Nickerson (RHP)
Nothing like back-to-back TigsTown Pitcher of the Month awards to keep your season rolling. After taking home the honor in May with a 2.50 ERA and 3-1 record, he repeated with an even lower ERA of 2.42 and a 1-0 record in June. Jonah has settled into a groove of baffling Florida State League hitters, and looks poised for a potential promotion to Double-A in the second half. Nickerson's paltry seven walks last month raised his season total at the time to all of twenty, or just a hair over two per nine innings of work.
Runner-Up: Jay Sborz (RHP)

West Michigan – Alfredo Figaro (RHP)
Figaro was forced to play runner-up to Jon Kibler's stellar month of May, but he was able to retake the award he won during April, with a strong first summer month. Alfredo finished June with his second undefeated month, locking in a 3-0 record in four starts, with one complete game mixed in. Over 28 innings, the sometimes wild Figaro walked only four hitters while yielding just 23 hits, and while his strikeouts were down to just 3.86 per nine innings, he still posted a 2.25 ERA and 0.96 WHIP.
Runner-Up: Jon Kibler (LHP)

DSL Tigers – Ramon Lebron (RHP)
Lebron entered the 2008 season as a bit of an enigma, having been shelled in just 3 1/3 innings in 2007, but still possessing some shiny scouting reports. His debut this season was nothing short of spectacular; with a 2.16 ERA in six games (three starts). Walks are still an issue for Ramon, having issued 12 in just 17 innings, but he was able to compensate for the problem by allowing just 11 hits over that span.
Runner-Up: <Robert Diaz (RHP)

VSL Tigers – Bruce Rondon (RHP)
Don't let the record fool you. Playing in front of a very inconsistent VSL squad, Rondon posted an 0-4 record in five starts last month, despite a wonderful 2.38 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. After walking more than he struck out in his first professional month, Rondon bounced back to walk only three batters in 22 2/3 innings of work. Nearly half of the eleven runs Bruce allowed last month, were unearned, allowing him to maintain his shiny rate stats.
Runner-Up: Michael Torrealba (RHP)


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