One of the highlights in an otherwise bland 2015 Clearwater Threshers season has been the pitching of reliever, closer and starter Mark Leiter Jr. He has been a pitcher for all reasons. With the promotion of Aaron Nola to AAA Lehigh Valley, Leiter has received the deserved call to AA Reading to take his place.
Leiter spent the month of April in the Clearwater Threshers bullpen starting out as a middle reliever and managed to pick up a save before joining the starting rotation in May. He was simply outstanding in April as a reliever with a 1-0 record with one save to go with a 1.80 ERA.
Then he joined the Threshers rotation as a starter in May going 2-1 with a 1.34 in five starts including a complete game in the month.
He has dropped off in his three June starts going without a decision in three starts with a 3.15 ERA. He is leaving high A ball with a 3-1 record and a 1.97 ERA in 14 game with 60 strikeouts, 15 walks and allowed only two homers over 68.2 innings. He has an excellent 0.95 WHIP.
Leiter has been a strike thrower with his over 4-1 strikeout to walk ratio but in his last three starts this month in 20 innings he has struck out only 11, walked 5 and hit three batters. He relies on a fastball which sits at 90-91 mph. His strikeout pitch has been his splitter which he throws at 84 mph. In addition to his change-up and slider, two or three times a game he comes in with a high 60’s curve ball.
See what we hope is his final Florida State League strikeout in which he used his splitter to get a swinging strike three yesterday afternoon against the Brevard County Manatees. See HERE.
Congratulation to Mark Leiter Jr. he was always worth the price of admission when he pitched this season, no matter in what role.