Medina, Westphal, Simpson Earn May Honors in American Association
In American Association Daily, the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association have named their Player and Pitchers of the Month for May in the American Association. The Chicago Dogs Luke Westphal and the St. Paul Saints Eddie Medina will share the Pitcher of the Month honors. The Cleburne Railroaders Chase Simpson was named Player of the Month.
Simpson, Westphal, Medina Earn Honors
For the second straight May, Cleburne Railroaders Chase Simpson was named as the Player of the Month, while the St. Paul Saints Eddie Medina and the Chicago Dogs Luke Westphal share honors as the Pitcher of the Month. Simpson earned the same honor last May when he was with the Lincoln Saltdogs. Eddie Medina is the reigning Pitcher of the Week for Week 2 in the American Association. Ironically, he was also the Pitcher of the Week in Week 2 last season.
Player of the Month – May: Chase Simpson, Cleburne Railroaders
The Cleburne Railroaders Chase Simpson was named as Player of the Month in the American Association. Simpson appeared in all 15 of his team’s games, hitting .271 with 12 runs scored, 7 homers, and 19 RBI. His homer and RBI total lead the league. The Railroaders infielder has already walked 14 times this year, which also leads the American Association.
Simpson began the season with just 2 hits in his first nine trips to the plate, but would turn things around in short order, going 5-11 over his next three games, with 3 homers and 8 RBI. That included a 2 homerun, 4 RBI performance against the Winnipeg Goldeyes on May 20.
After three consecutive games without a hit (May 22-24), Simpson responded with homers in three straight games and four of the next five contests. He has posted three or more RBI in four games this season.
Simpson was chosen as the Player of the Month in May of 2018 when he hit. 409 with an on-base percentage of .578.
Pitcher of the Month – May: Luke Westphal, Chicago Dogs; Eddie Medina, St. Paul Saints
When you have two guys dabbling with no-hitters, it is hard to choose which one had the better month, so we didn’t, naming both Luke Westphal of the Chicago Dogs and Eddie Medina of the St. Paul Saints as co-Pitchers of the Month for May.
Luke Westphal finished 2-0 in his three starts in May. What has been most impressive is that he did not give up a hit in either of his first two starts and has allowed three total hits in 17.2 innings. He has walked four while striking out 22, giving the left-hander an opponent batting average of .500 with a WHIP of 0.400.
Westphal began the season by allowing a walk against the Gary Southshore RailCats on May 18. He went 5.2 innings, striking out 3, as the Chicago Dogs won 5-1. His second start would be May 24, when he would set a franchise record, striking out 12 in six innings in the Dogs 5-4 victory. He allowed zero hits and walked, two posting a ridiculous WHIP of 0.26 through his first two starts.
In his third start, the Sioux Falls Canaries would finally get a hit, posting three of them. Westphal went six innings, striking out 8. He has yet to give up a run this season.
Eddie Medina finished May 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four starts. The right-hander has thrown 27.0 innings, allowing 20 hits and 6 walks while striking out 31. He is tied for the league lead in wins.
The Saints were unsure if Medina was going to make the opening day start, as he had battled the flu just days before, and it showed when he gave up four runs in the first inning against the Milwaukee Milkmen, yet he battled, remaining in the game, shutting Milwaukee down over the next 4.2 innings.
On May 22, he would blank the Chicago Dogs for six innings in a 4-0 Saints victory. Medina allowed 3 hits and 3 walks in the game, striking out 6. On May 26, took to the hill on three days rest, blanking the Sioux City Explorers for 6.1 innings, allowing 8 hits and no walks, while striking out 8.
Medina would then save his best performance for last, tossing a no-hitter against the Cleburne Railroaders on May 31. Medina threw 107 pitches, allowing just one walk while striking out a season high 10. That was the second no-hitter in franchise history and was the second shutout of his professional career. Medina has now won five straight games dating back to last season. He finished the month with a scoreless streak of 26 straight innings.
By Robert Pannier