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With hit streak at 16, Herd's Pillar named IL Batter of the Week

By Mike Harrington

Bisons outfielder Kevin Pillar, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games during Sunday's win over Charlotte, was named the International League Batter of the Week today. Pillar's streak is the longest current one in the league.

Pillar hit .444 for the week (12 for 27) with nine RBIs as the Bisons won their final six games of a 7-1 homestand to take over first place in the IL North Division. Among his highlights were a 4-for-4 game in last Monday's 17-5 thrashing of Louisville, scoring the only run in Friday's 1-0, 11-inning victory over Charlotte and lashing a two-run walkoff triple in the bottom of the ninth Saturday to beat the Knights, 6-5.

Pillar enters tonight's series opener at Gwinnett batting .275 with 15 RBIs. After opening the season in a 1-for-24 slump, he has batted .341 since -- and is batting .385 since April 17. Pillar is Buffalo's first IL batter honoree since Luis Jimenez took the honor April 15-21, 2013. 

The IL Pitcher of the Week is Columbus' Josh Tomlin, who tossed a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts Thursday at Durham. Tomlin, who pitched one game for the Bisons in 2008, is 2-1, 2.06 in five starts for Columbus this year but is expected to be promoted to Cleveland to make Tuesday's start against Minnesota. He went 12-7 for the Tribe in 2011.

Manager of the Year awards go today -- Farrell and Who?

By Mike Harrington

The BBWAA Awards continue tonight at 6 on MLB Network with the announcement of the Managers of the Year. (Go to this link after the vote to see all the ballots)

In the American League, the heavy favorite would appear to be Boston's John Farrell -- although I remind you the vote is taken before the postseason. Still, going from last place to 97 wins should get Farrell the nod over Cleveland's Terry Francona and Oakland's Bob Melvin.

You would think Pittsburgh's Clint Hurdle is a similar heavy favorite in the National League, although Atlanta's Fredi Gonzalez and Los Angeles' Don Mattingly both won their divisions and Hurdle's Pirates were the NL wild-card. Still, I would have voted for Hurdle for leading the Bucs to October after 20 straight losing seasons. That should be an interesting vote.

What are your thoughts? Vote in our polls.


Rookie of the Year nods come tonight to open BBWAA Awards

By Mike Harrington

The winners of the Baseball Writers' Association of America awards will be announced this week during prime-time shows on MLB Network that run from 6-7 p.m. (Full disclosure: I am a BBWAA member and was one of the voters for American League Rookie of the Year).

The three finalists for each award in each league were previously announced the winners will be announced during each live telecast.

The schedule is as follows (click on each link for the finalists):

Tonight: AL Rookie of the Year announced at 6:18, NL Rookie at 6:48
Tuesday: NL Manager of the Year, 6:18, AL Manager at 6:48
Wednesday: AL Cy Young, 6:18, NL Cy Young at 6:48
Thursday: AL MVP, 6:18, NL MVP 6:48.

As a voter for the AL Rookie award, I cannot reveal my vote until the award is announced. The finalists in alphabetical order are Tampa Bay pitcher Chris Archer, Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias (who opened the season in Boston) and Tampa Bay outfielder Wil Myers.

The NL finalists are Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, St. Louis pitcher Shelby Miller and Los Angeles outfielder Yasiel Puig. If I had an NL vote, I would give mine to Fernandez, who is going to get plenty of Cy Young votes after going 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts this year for a terrible team.

(7 p.m. update: Myers and Fernandez were the winners. I voted Iglesias-Myers-Archer. You can see all the votes, including mine, at this link)

Make your picks for Rookie of the Year in our polls:


About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |