July 10, 2009
Major League Baseball fans across the land prepare for the final weekend before the All-Star break. Several former Big Orange all-stars are displaying their talents across the MLB and the Minor Leagues. Recent Vol pitchers Nick Hernandez and Danny Wiltz are finding their niche in the short-season minor leagues; meanwhile Shawn Griffin is hitting the Minor Leagues by storm and Luke Hochevar is developing into an ace.
Nick Hernandez- left-handed pitcher, Williamsport Crosscutters
The month of July has been kind to Nick Hernandez. The south-paw has seen his ERA drop substantially in just a pair of outings. After earning his first win July 2, Hernandez pitched six scoreless innings July 7, in his second consecutive scoreless appearance. This month he has six strikeouts while giving up three walks and eight hits. In 18.1 innings pitched, he boasts a 1.96 ERA.
Danny Wiltz- right-handed pitcher, Bristol White Sox
After graduating from UT in the spring of 2009, Miami, Fla., native Danny Wiltz began his professional career just north or Knoxville with the Bristol (Va.) White Sox. In five appearances so far this summer, Wiltz recorded a 2.89 ERA and 13 strikeouts. He picked up his first save July 3 against the Johnson City Cardinals and pitched another scoreless two-strikeout inning against the Cardinals July 7.
Shawn Griffin- left fielder, Burlington Bees
Shawn Griffin played on The Hill until beginning his MLB career in 2008. Currently with the Burlington (Iowa) Bees, Griffin is making his way through the Minor Leagues. This week he is hitting .333 with an RBI and one run. On the season, he is averaging .294 at home and .333 against left-handed pitchers.
Luke Hochevar- right-handed pitcher, Kansas City Royals
Luke Hochevar is on somewhat of a hot streak. Picking up two wins this week, the former Vol is on a three-game winning streak. Hochevar tossed a win July 4, against the Chicago White Sox and then won again July 7, at the Boston Red Sox. On the season, Hochevar struck out eight while walking three this week and has a 5.34 ERA on the year.