Myrtle Beach Pitchers Continue To Thrive
ARLINGTON—High Class A Myrtle Beach was leading the Carolina League in ERA, WHIP, hits, strikeouts, shutouts, saves and home runs through early June. And that was without Neil Ramirez and Robbie Erlin in the rotation.
Ramirez and Erlin have left BB&T Coastal Field in their rearview mirrors, promoted to Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco, respectively. Ramirez, a righthander selected in the first round of the 2007 draft, made only one start for the Pelicans before earning an extended Triple-A stay. Erlin, a lefty, was in Myrtle Beach longer, pitching brilliantly over nine starts before heading to the Texas League.
"What's excited me is the way the whole group is attacking the zone, and specifically the ability to throw their secondary pitches for strikes," general manager Jon Daniels said. "As a unit, their ability to limit the walks and throw quality strikes has been outstanding."
Erlin had five walks compared to 62 strikeouts while going 3-2, 2.14 in 56 innings before his promotion, but righthander Joe Wieland had been even thriftier with the free passes. He had four walks and a league-best 81 strikeouts through 12 games (11 starts), and had a stretch of eight starts without a walk.
Robbie Ross, the Rangers' second-round pick in 2008, and Barret Loux, who was signed as a free agent in November after failing to sign with the Diamondbacks as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2010 draft because of health issues, have also shown a command of the strike zone. They had 123 strikeouts and 36 walks through 128 innings. But Wieland, a fourth-round choice in 2008, could be the next pitcher headed to Double A.
"There are a lot of good pitchers down there," minor league pitching coordinator Danny Clark said. "It's hard to promote two at the same time. Joe will follow soon. We're just trying to arrange it. It wasn't necessarily Erlin over Wieland. Either one could have earned the promotion."
• Myrtle Beach third baseman Mike Olt, the Rangers' minor league player of the month for April, could miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone. Olt, who was hitting .286/.395/.508 with 10 homers in 54 games, suffered the injury in a home plate collision June 6 and had surgery June 8.
• Chris Davis continued to flourish at Triple-A Round Rock, when he's been there. He had hit nine homers in 18 games in two stints though June 10. He started the season in Round Rock before taking the injured Josh Hamilton's roster spot from April 13-May 22.