Mar 16, 2014; Kissimmee, FL, USA; A Houston Astros hat sits on a wall during the game against the Washington Nationals at Osceola County Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Starter of the Month: Thomas Shirley
Tommy to most, but Thomas to Baseball Reference, Shirley holds a 3-0 record to go along with his 2.70 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He has made three starts and four appearances with Fresno this season, totaling 16 2/3 innings. Since one of his outings was a one inning relief appearance on April 10th, you won’t find his name among the league leaders in any statistical categories since his innings total doesn’t qualify just yet.
While his first start on April 14th was a bit rough, going five innings while allowing four runs on nine hits, he didn’t allow a walk and struck out one. In his two starts since, he has combined to go 10 2/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out eleven. His strikeout to walk rate thus far is a solid 4.67.
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- Who Should the Astros Consider for a September Call-Up?
- Could the Astros Have 2 Rookie Catchers Next Year?
- First-Round Pick Drew Gilbert Already Called Up to Single-A
Reliever of the Month: Jordan Jankowski
While I doubt that I’ll be giving away a reliever of the month award every month, special attention has to be given to Jankowski for his performance out of the bullpen thus far. Jankowski has made ten appearances spanning 11 2/3 innings, and has accumulated a 1.54 ERA, giving up two runs this season. He has allowed twelve hits and six free passes, so his living on the edge style may catch up to him sooner rather than later, especially with his ground ball to fly ball ratio (0.53) not especially good for inducing double plays, but somehow he’s getting the job done.
Offensive Player of the Month: Preston Tucker
No surprise here. Tucker has a good shot at winning a similar award in the PCL for April, so for us not to hand it out to him for his own team would be silly. We’ve run down his stats already, so the big question is this: If he continues performing this well, will he get a look in Houston?
In an article in the Houston Chronicle this week, Jeff Luhnow told Evan Drellich that they’re well aware of how Tucker is performing. My guess is that they brought up Hoes earlier in the week knowing they likely wouldn’t use him much. Right now, Tucker is benefitting from getting regular playing time, so unless he’s taking over for George Springer (never gonna happen), Jake “Climbing Tal’s Hill” Marisnick or Colby Rasmus (trade bait?) then he likely won’t be seeing Minute Maid Park any time soon. I really hope I’m wrong, however.
Later this week we’ll hand out some weekly awards for the first week of May, but until then, who wants to see some dingers?