Pelicans’ ace Rucker takes second straight CL award

Thanks to a scoreless innings streak that has now stretched to 20 frames, Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-handed pitcher Mike Rucker has been named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 17-23, the league office announced Monday. It is the second straight week Rucker has earned the circuit’s honor.

An 11th-round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2016 out of Brigham Young University, Rucker did not allow a run over 13 innings in his two starts over the week. Over that span, he struck out 17 without walking a batter, ceding just eight hits.

In his July 17 start at Buies Creek, Rucker whiffed a career-high 10 batters in a career-high eight innings, yielding only two hits. He followed that up with five shutout innings and seven strikeouts on July 22 against Down East.

A native of Lake Tapps, Wash., Rucker is 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 14 games, including nine starts, this season for Myrtle Beach. The right-hander has surrendered only 44 hits in 60.0 innings, punching out 65 against 13 free passes.

Among pitchers with at least 60.0 innings in the Carolina League this year, Rucker ranks second in ERA (1.95), FIP (2.62) and K-BB% (22.3 percent), and fifth in K% (27.9 percent).

Rucker began the 2017 season with Low-A South Bend, where he posted a 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings over seven games. He struck out 22 without issuing a free pass before earning a promotion on May 16 to Myrtle Beach.

The Pelicans begin a three-game series with Monday’s 7:05 p.m. contest against the Carolina Mudcats from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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