One of the best pitchers in High-A Central is heading to Double-A.
TinCaps ace Ethan Elliott, the league's Pitcher of the Month for May, ranked third in the league in ERA at 2.95 before the Padres promoted him to Double-A San Antonio on Tuesday. He finishes his TinCaps tenure 2-1 in 12 starts across 58 innings.
He also ranked fourth in High-A Central in strikeouts with 71 and was third on the circuit in opponent batting average at .204. Elliott was responsible for two of the TinCaps' season highlights, both of them in May. On Opening Day, May 4, Elliott pitched four shutout innings in a Fort Wayne win, its first victory in over 600 days. During that start, the lefty struck out nine, including an Immaculate Inning (three straight strikeouts on nine pitches in one inning). Less than two weeks later, he made Fort Wayne's best start of the season, going six shutout innings, giving up only one hit and striking out 13 (tying a franchise record for a six-inning start) without a walk.
Elliott is the first of the TinCaps' Opening Day starting rotation to be promoted, but he might not be the last. Matt Waldron, Gabe Mosser, Moises Lugo and Anderson Espinoza could all conceivably get the call depending on how their second halves go.
For now, the TinCaps will slot left-hander Erik Sabrowski into the rotation. Sabrowski, in his first pro season, has been the team's best pitcher since he debuted in mid-June, posting a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings with 32 strikeouts. He started tonight and went five innings, striking out six and giving up one run on three hits. Meanwhile, Espinoza will be back Friday from his 10-game suspension for alleged substances on his glove.
However, Fort Wayne still has one starting spot to fill this week. That's because the TinCaps are playing a seven-game series, against the Whitecaps, the longest set in franchise history. They will have a doubleheader against West Michigan on Thursday, making up a game rained out in Fort Wayne on May 9. Because the Whitecaps weren't scheduled to return to Parkview Field after that series, the TinCaps lost a home game and will play 61 road games against 59 in the Summit City this season. Mosser will start the first game of the doubleheader for Fort Wayne, but the second game is TBD. It could be a bullpen game, with someone like Edwuin Bencomo, Felix Minjarez or newcomer Danny Denz (who started Sunday in a bullpen game) getting the nod before giving way after an inning or two.