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Vote For The Cubs Minor League Pitcher Of The Month

Time once again to consider July's best pitchers.

Dylan Heuer

It's time to vote for the BCB Minor League Pitcher of the Month. The rules are the same as they are for the Minor League Player of the Month. The award is designed to reward performance and not prospect status. Beyond that, you can factor in anything you want in determining your vote. I'll leave the voting for the Player of the Month award open until tonight's Minor League Wrap.

The pitching wasn't quite as strong as the hitting last month, but there were still a lot of good candidates.

The candidates are:

Iowa Cubs LHP Eric Jokisch: Jokisch was left as the ace of the first-place I-Cubs rotation in July as Tsuyoshi Wada and Kyle Hendricks were promoted to the majors. Jokisch responded with a strong July, making him a candidate to be the next one called up. In five starts in July, Jokisch was 2-0 with a 1.78 ERA. That includes one seven-inning complete game shutout. In 30⅓ innings in July, Jokisch struck out 33 and walked only seven while holding batters down to a .220 batting average. He also only allowed one unearned run.

Tennessee Smokies RHP Pierce Johnson: Johnson missed half of May and all of June with a leg injury, but he came back on July 2 as good as ever. In that first start back, Johnson tossed 7⅓ scoreless innings and allowed only one hit. For the month, Johnson made five starts and went 2-3 with a 1.87 ERA. He only gave up one unearned run as well. You can tell he was a victim of non-support. In 33⅔ innings, Johnson struck out 35 and walked 16. He held opposing hitters to a .188 average, although three of the 21 hits he allowed left the park. That's not a terrible figure. It just answers why his ERA was even over 1.00

Daytona Cubs RHP Zack Godley: Godley became one of the closers for Daytona this month. The Cubs' 10th-round pick last year allowed a run in his first start of the month (but still got the save) and two runs in his final appearance of the month on July 30. He didn't allow a run in between those two appearances, a streak of six appearances. He only even allowed four hits in that time. For the whole month, Godley was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and two saves. In eleven innings, he struck out 12 and walked only two while holding opposing hitters to a .244 average.

Kane County Cougars RHP Duane Underwood: Underwood made five starts in July and went at least five innings in all five of them. He went 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA. Over 28 innings, Underwood struck out 30 batters and walked only five. He held opposing hitters to a .193 ERA. The month would have been better, except that he allowed five home runs in July. In fact, all six runs he allowed in the month came off of a home run. That's just odd.

Boise Hawks RHP Trey Lang: Lang was moved to the bullpen this year and has pitched mostly in middle relief. That's been important as the Hawks starters have put the team in a lot of holes. Lang's work in the mid-innings has allowed for some big comebacks. In eight appearances in July, Lang threw 15.1 innings and allowed four runs for a  1-0 record with a 2.35 ERA. No unearned runs either. He struck out 11 and walked six while holding opposing hitters to a .192 batting average.