Yes, Zach Ward, again lost his only decision this week, yet he is worthy of recognition as this week’s Player of the Week.
This week Ward appeared in two games with 10.0 innings pitched, 6 hits, 2 unearned runs, 12 strikeouts and 2 walks. In his first outing, he pitched 8.0 innings with 6 hits, 2 unearned runs, 9 strikeouts and 1 walk. He followed up with a start on Thursday when he actually had the lead after the second inning when the rains came and the game was suspended. In that game Zach pitched 2.0 innings with 0 hits, 0 runs, 3 strikeouts and 1 walk. The Miracle went on to win that game Friday afternoon with Errol Simonitsch, who is with Ft. Myers on a rehab assignment, pitching 4.1 innings and getting the win.
For the season, he has that 2-14 record with a 3.03 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 84 strikeouts and 24 walks in 101.0 innings. Considering that his earned run average is barely over 3 runs per game, had the Miracle given him any run support he would likely have a winning record.
Most Twins fans are aware that Ward is the pitcher the Twins received from the Reds in the Kyle Lohse trade last summer. Zach is a North Carolina native who was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2005 draft out of Gardner-Webb University. He was one of the top pitchers in the Midwest League prior to the trade. Pitching for Dayton, Zach had a 7-0 record and 2.29 ERA in 20 games, 114.0 innings, 95 strikeouts and 37 walks while allowing opposing hitters to hit for only a .188 Average. He did not appear to be the same pitcher following the trade as he compiled a 1-4 record with the Snappers, pitching 30.1 innings with a 5.93 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 11 walks with opposing hitters hitting for a .250 Average.
Although his won-loss record is as bad as any in the system since the man he was traded for lost 20 games at New Britain, he appears to be an excellent prospect who certainly has a bright future in the Twins organization.