Jeanmar Gomez in spring training.
Akron Aeros right-hander Jeanmar Gomez has been named the Eastern League's 2009 Pitcher of the Year. The announcement came one day after Akron's Mike Sarbaugh was named Manager of the Year. Gomez joins right-hander Adam Miller, the 2006 winner, as the only Akron pitchers to be so honored. Pitching a perfect game shortly after being called up from Class A Kinston helped Gomez gain recognition.
"There are many variables in developing into a Major League starting pitcher, and Jeanmar continues to check them off the list," Indians Director of Player Development Ross Atkins said. "He’s intelligent, he’s durable, he has weapons and he puts his weapons on the plate consistently. Jeanmar has worked hard to put himself into this position and there is still more potential to realize."
Gomez began the 2009 season with Kinston of the Class A Carolina League and went 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA before joining the Aeros April 29.
The right-hander reeled off four straight wins in his first four Double-A starts, capped by the first perfect game and individual no-hitter in franchise history May 21 at Trenton. Gomez threw only 87 pitches to complete his masterpiece, and it was only the second nine-inning perfect game in the 86-year history of the Eastern League.
The gem also provided the bulk of another rare feat for Gomez, as he retired 36 consecutive batters over three starts between May 14 and 26.
Overall at Akron this season, Gomez has a 10-4 record and 3.38 ERA in 21 starts. He is tied for fourth in the league in wins, third in ERA, second in WHIP (walks and hits to innings pitched) at 1.24 and sixth with 105 strikeouts in 117 1/3 innings.
Gomez has not allowed an earned run in seven of his 21 starts this season and has given up three earned runs or less in 15 of those outings.
Signed by the Indians as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela on April 4, 2005, Gomez also was named as the right-handed starter on the season ending All-Star team.
Trenton right-hander Zach McAllister finished second in the voting for the award and Bowie left-handed starter Brian Matusz, now in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles, finished third.
Voting was done by Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media.
Gomez and Sarbaugh will be recognized on the field prior to the Aeros' home game against the Erie SeaWolves on Friday night.