White Sox AAA pitcher of August: SP Erik Johnson
Another month in the books for the Chicago White Sox and their Triple-A affiliate Charlotte Knights and once again the talk of the pitching staff is Erik Johnson.
Johnson has been dominant nearly all season for the Knights (hit a little road block in May) and the month of August was no different.
The big right-hander went 3-2 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts. Over 32.2 innings, he struck out 29 and held opponents to a batting average of .222.
His best outing of the month came on August 13th against the Gwinnett Braves (Braves Triple-A affiliate). Johnson went six innings, allowed just four hits while walking one and striking out eight. He also picked up his ninth win of the season in that game.
Johnson now has six games this season of at least eight strikeouts and eight games in which he did not allow an earned run.
Overall, he has a record of 11-8 with a 2.37 ERA and 136 strikeouts (both of which lead the International League) in 132.2 innings. He has also held opponents to a .224 batting average.
It is safe to say he is a lock to join the major league club this month.
The Knights have had multiple pitchers in the closers role this season. There are four players with at least five saves.
Zach Phillips leads the team with 12 saves followed by Jairo Asencio (who is no longer with the club) with nine, Junior Guerra with six and Maikel Cleto with five.
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Guerra picked up five of his six saves in August and because of that gets the honorable mention spot here.
Throughout the month, Guerra made 10 appearances (one start) and posted a 2.57 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 14 innings. He was a perfect 5-5 in saves and held opponents to a .192 batting average.
His best outing came on August 11th as he picked up the save in a 3-2 win also against the Braves. After Phillips allowed two runs in the eighth inning, Guerra pitched a scoreless ninth inning allowing no hits and striking out two of the three batters he faced.
For the season, Guerra is 4-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 81.1 innings. In 29 games (11 starts) he is 6-7 in save chances and opponents have hit just .204 against him.
After standing out last month with Charlotte, Hector Noesi took a step back in August posting a 4.15 ERA in six starts…. Chris Beck has not pitched since June 13th because of elbow inflammation…. Kyle Drabek had his worst month of year going 2-3 with a 6.43 ERA and 17 walks in five starts.