Yesterday we took time to honor the best position players in the Cubs minor league system over the month of May and today we’re going to honor the best pitchers for the second month of the 2019 season.
Just like for the Player of the Month Award, I pick one pitcher from each of the four full-season teams and one “wild card” for a fifth candidate. (Next month, a nominee from the Eugene Emeralds will replace the wild card.) Then you vote for whichever one you think had the best month. You can pick whatever criteria you want, but I ask that you base your vote solely on what the player did over the previous month. This is an award for production, not for the player’s prospect ranking.
You still have a chance to vote for the Player of the Month until sometime this evening. I’ll announce the winner of the Player of the Month vote in tonight’s Minor League Wrap and the winner of the Pitcher of the Month vote in tomorrow night’s Wrap.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to his milb.com page for more information.
The nominees are:
Iowa Cubs RHP Colin Rea
Coming home to Iowa sure agrees with Rea. You likely know his story by now. Rea was a young pitcher with the Padres when he was traded to the Marlins in a deal that the Marlins protested when they discovered that Rea was injured and needed Tommy John surgery. Rea missed all of the 2017 season. He pitched in the Padres minors last year and joined the Cubs as a free agent this winter, in part because of the chance to pitch near to home.
Rea isn’t a prospect anymore (he has too many major league innings) but he’s looking like he looked in 2015 again. Rea made six starts in May and went 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He threw seven innings of three-hit, scoreless ball on May 28 against New Orleans and probably could have finished a complete game shutout had Pedro Strop not needed to pitch in a rehab appearance. Rea struck out 26 and walked 11 in 32⅔ innings in May. He held opposing hitters to a .208 average.
Tennessee Smokies RHP Tyson Miller
Miller was your choice for the Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April and here he is again. Miller wasn’t quite as good in May as he was in April, but he was still awfully good, going 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA in six starts. Over 37⅔ innings in May, Miller struck out 34 and walked just four which is a pretty terrific K/BB ratio. Opposing hitter managed just a .226 average off him in May.
Tennessee Smokies RHP Cory Abbott
Is this a rerun? Not only was Miller nominated last month, so was Abbott as the two pitchers have given the Smokies one of the best 1-2 starters in the Southern League.
Abbott’s May was almost a carbon copy of his April. He made five starts and went 2-1 with a 2.89 ERA in May. (Change the ERA to 2.86 and you have his April numbers.) He threw 28 innings in May and 28⅓ innings in April. Abbott struck out 29 in May and 28 in April. Abbott did walk a few more batters in May with nine, but he gave up fewer hits with a .204 average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans RHP Javier Assad
Assad’s month of May got off to a terrific start as he did not allow a run in any of his first three starts, all of which went at least six innings. In two of them he only allowed one hit. His fourth start was bad, but he only gave up one run in his fifth and final start.
Assad’s final line was 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA (and no unearned runs either). He struck out 26 and walked 11 over 30⅔ innings. Assad held opposing hitters to a .176 batting average.
South Bend Cubs LHP Faustino Carrera
The Cubs’ scouting efforts south of the border are paying off as both of our final two candidates are from Mexico. Carrera was a model of consistency in May as he made five starts and allowed one or two runs in each of them. His final line for the month was 1-1 with a 2.43 ERA. He pitched a total of 29⅔ innings and struck out 22 and walked just five. Carrera held opposing hitters to a .190 batting average.
Who is the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Colin Rea
Tennessee Smokies Tyson Miller
Tennessee Smokies Cory Abbott
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Javier Assad
South Bend Cubs Faustino Carrera