Clayton’s Chris Archer set the Tampa Bay Rays’ single-season record for strikeouts in a season with his strikeout of Brett Gardner in Wednesday’s game. Archer surpassed the previous mark of 240 in a season by Scott Kazmir in 2007.
“It’s cool,” Archer told MLB.com. “I read somewhere that that record stood for like nine seasons. And considering the pitchers that have come through this organization that are known for strikeouts. Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, (Jake) Odorizzi’s capable of striking guys out. Not to mention guys who aren’t here anymore. Like [James] Shields, who logged a ton of innings, so by nature he’s going to have a lot of strikeouts because of the innings. And then the possible Cy Young this year, David Price.
“So there’s been a lot of good pitchers, and to show that my swing-and-miss capabilities are up there with those guys, it’s a nice accomplishment for sure.”
Archer sits at 243 strikeouts on the season and ranked third in all of MLB entering Thursday’s games. The right-hand All-Star was 12-12 with a 2.95 earned-run average after Wednesday’s loss to the Yankees.
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Lien, Barker are Mudcats’ players of the year: The Atlanta Braves announced yesterday their Minor League Players and Pitchers of the Year. The honorees included Connor Lien who was recognized as the Carolina Mudcats Player of the Year and Brandon Barker who was recognized as the Carolina Mudcats Pitcher of the Year.
Both players were honored, along with the 14 of the other top Atlanta minor league performers, on Saturday, at Turner Field in Atlanta as part of an on-field ceremony.
Lien, 21, finished the 2015 season batting .285 with a .347 on-base percentage and a .415 slugging mark with a team best 34 stolen bases and team high 129 hits over 128 games. His .285 average was tied for the fourth highest in the Carolina League this season and his 34 steals were the second most.
Lien also led Carolina League outfielders in assists and most double plays with 21 and seven respectively. He was named the Mudcats’ player of the month in May by the Braves after batting .309/.364/.494 over 26 games and was the Carolina League Player of the Week onJuly 13 after batting .375/.429/.667 with five stolen bases July 6-12.
Barker, 23, began his second professional season in Class-A Rome before being sent to Carolina in early May. He eventually returned to the Rome Braves that same month before coming back to the Mudcats in June. Barker also started twice in Triple-A with the Gwinnett Braves and finished the overall 2015 campaign at 12-10 with a 3.25 ERA over 27 starts between Low-A, High-A and Triple-A this season.
He was 8-5 over 17 starts for the Mudcats, with his eight victories being the most on the Carolina staff, and his 3.00 ERA second among Mudcats’ starting pitchers. Barker also led the Braves farm system in wins (12) and strikeouts (109).
Creasy makes 25 starts for Altoona: Clayton High grad Jason Creasy finished his 2015 season with a 12-8 record on the mound for the Altoona Curve, the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate. Creasy made 25 starts on the season, compiling a 4.41 earned-run average and working 147 innings.
Phillips post sub-2.75 ERA: Clayton’s Evan Phillips completed his first season with the Atlanta Braves’ organization with a 2.73 ERA in stops at Danville (rookie) and Salem (Single-A). H made 18 appearances, pitching 29.2 innings with 37 strikeouts and just 12 walks.
The former UNC Wilmington hurler posted two saves for Salem.
Myrtle Beach wins Mills Cup: Myrtle Beach completed a three-game sweep of Wilmington (Del.) with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night to win the Carolina League championship and the accompanying Mills Cup.
Sands contributing for Indians: Smithfield-Selma grad Jerry Sands is helping the Cleveland Indians make a late push to get into the American League Wild Card race. Sands is hitting .229 in spot duty for the Indians.