You won't find Ryan Verdugo's name on any prospect lists in recent seasons, but the 27-year-old lefty is making noise since his return to the mound this season after missing the first couple of months with a sports hernia.
Verdugo was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for his performance during the week of June 9-15. He picked up two wins, tossing 12.2 scoreless innings while striking out 15, and has won four consecutive starts for the Omaha Storm Chasers. In his start on June 9, he limited the Sacramento River Cats to one hit in six innings. He then shut out the Fresno Grizzlies over 6.2 innings on June 14. He is 4-1 on the season with 2.52 ERA and opponents are hitting just .190 against him in five starts.
Omaha radio announcer Mark Nasser attributes Verdugo's recent success to his command.
"He's been pinpoint with his fastball his last two starts - like never before," Nasser said. "And this was against decent lineups - Sacramento, Fresno - and he made them look silly. He deserved pitcher of the week."
Nasser says Omaha pitching coach Larry Carter made a small change in Verdugo's delivery and that has helped him with the command on his fastball. He's always had a good change-up, and he's been throwing his slider and curve ball a little more effectively this season.