Pitching has always been pretty good in Wilmington (with the exception of a few years, like last year), so choosing a starting pitcher for the Wilmington Blue Rocks 25th Anniversary Team is a tough task. From the below choices, you can chose five (remember to vote in the comments section).
- Glendon Rusch (1995): He struck out a Blue Rocks single season game record 17 on August 7th. His 14 wins and 1.74 ERA are second most all-time in a single season. Rusch struck out 147 (which ranks fifth) and walked just 34 in 165.2 innings (26 starts). He was also a Carolina League All-Star.
- Jose Rosado (1995): He combined with Pat Flury for the Blue Rocks first no-hitter (April 15th). Rosado went 10-7 with a 3.46 ERA in 25 starts with 117 strikeouts (compared to 30 walks in 138 innings).
- Phil Grundy (1995-1996): His two shutouts in 1996 led the Carolina League and are tied for most all-time. Grundy made 42 starts in his two seasons in Wilmington with a combined ERA under 3.50.
- Jake Chapman (1997-1998): In his career, Chapman is second all-time in starts (52), innings pitched (316.2), hits allowed (321), and strikeouts (235). He is third all-time in wins with 21.
- Todd Thorn (1997-1999): In his career, Thorn is ranked first all-time in wins (23), games started (58), innings pitched (408.1), hits allowed (434), and strikeouts (263). He is tied for first in complete games with five and shutouts with two. Thorn is second all-time in losses with 23.
- Brian Sanches (2000): He threw the Blue Rocks only complete game no-hitter on May 2nd.
- Jimmy Gobble (2001): His 154 strikeouts rank third most in a single season. Gobble went 10-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 27 starts. He walked just 33 in 162.1 innings.
- Ian Ferguson (2001-2002): His 22 career wins rank him second all-time. Ferguson is the only Blue Rock with back-to-back 10+ win seasons. As a Carolina League All-Star in 2002, he went 12-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 17 starts (109.1 innings). Ferguson struck out 81 and walked just 20.
- Danny Tamayo (2002, 2004): His 14 wins in 2002 tied Rusch for the second most in a single season. Tamayo went 14-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 123.1 innings in 2002 with 108 strikeouts compared to 32 walks.
- Zack Greinke (2002-2003): As a Carolina League All-Star in 2003, he went 11-1 with a 1.14 ERA in 14 starts totaling 87 innings. He walked just 13 compared to 78 strikeouts. Greinke was named both the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year in 2003 and the Minor League Baseball Pitcher of the Year.
Rowdy Hardy (2007, 2009): He is tops with 15 wins in a single season (that came in 2007). As a Carolina League All-Star in 2007, Hardy went 15-5 with a 2.48 ERA across 167 innings. He struck out 91 and walked just 16. He led the CL in complete games with three and was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year.
- Glenn Sparkman (2014): His 1.56 ERA is tops all-time and led the Carolina League. Sparkman went 8-3 in 121 innings with 117 strikeouts compared to just 25 walks en route to being named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year (despite not making the All-Star team).
*Remember to pick five of the above for the Blue Rocks 25th Anniversary team. Stay tuned on Monday to vote for the relief pitchers.