(Photo courtesy of: Joe Territo, Rochester Red Wings)
Two players who faced each other Sunday afternoon at Rochester’s Frontier Field were named as the International League’s Pitcher and Batter of the Week, as announced Monday by the league office in Dublin, Ohio.
Rochester lefthander Stephen Gonsalves was named Pitcher of the Week after claiming two victories, including 6-1 Sunday over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Batter of the Week Joey Meneses. Each player is the first representative of their organizations to be honored in the 2018 season.
Gonsalves is a recent call-up to Rochester after starting the season in AA ball. He won his first Red Wings start of the season May 1 at Pawtucket, 2-0 over the PawSox. At Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium Gonsalves threw 7 2/3 innings. At one point in the contest he retired 16 straight batters. The streak ended when he issued his lone walk to the lead off batter in the bottom of the eighth inning. The lone batter to reach on a hit was summarily erased on a double play. In his two combined starts, Gonsalves threw 14 1/3 innings, allowing only four hits while striking out 14. And at the same time, he only gave up two bases on balls. Opponents were only able to compile a batting average of .087, and with one run allowed his ERA stands at 0.63.
Sunday Gonsalves, who will turn 24 on July 8, threw a perfect 4 2/3 innings before surrendering a solo home run to Mitch Walding. He pitched two more innings and finished with 14 strikeouts.
A native of San Diego, Gonsalves was assigned to Rochester Aug. 7, 2017 and went 1-2 the rest of last season. He entered this year, his sixth in the Minnesota Twins organization, on their 40-man roster. He was drafted out of high school by the organization in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB draft, the 110th pick overall. Gonsalves was honored as Minnesota’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and for the last three campaigns he was named to MiLB.com’s “Organizational All-Star” team.
The last Red Wing to be named IL Pitcher of the Week was Aaron Slegers last July 24. Four Rochester hurlers were honored the previous year including Nik Turley, Slegers and Jose Berrios, twice.
Meneses, in his first season with the Philadelphia Phillies organization after spending seven years with the Atlanta Braves organization, had multiple hit games five times last week. He led the league with a batting average of .520 and slugging at a .960 average. His 13 hits included five doubles, two home runs and a total of 24 bases. Against Rochester Thursday and Friday, he had six hits and seven RBI while helping the IronPigs win the first two games of their four-game series. In the past week he raised his batting average to .360, placing him third in the league and stands fifth in slugging at .560.
He had one hit Sunday, which was also his 26th birthday, against Gonsalves. Meneses is a native of Culiacan, Mexico.