The Double-A Harrisburg Senators' pitching staff has been focused and locked in from the beginning of the season, according to pitching coach Paul Menhart.
"It is a great group, they work hard and look to get better every day, it has shown in the way they have been pitching early on," Menhart said.
The proof is in the statistics.
The staff boasts a 3.11 ERA and leads the Eastern League with 219 strikeouts. They have allowed only 86 earned runs in 27 games. Their 1.25 WHIP is third best in the league.
Menhart said the work ethic that recently promoted right-hander Pat Lehman instilled in the staff helped the guys reach a new level, and they have all responded. Lehman had a 1.17 ERA in eight games in Harrisburg.
Jeff Mandel, Mike Ballard, Paul Demny and Robert Gilliam have all had some excellent outings, with left-hander Danny Rosenbaum the best in the Eastern League.
Rosenbaum is 3-0 with 23 strikeouts and a 0.76 ERA. He has allowed only 23 hits in 35 2/3 innings of work over five starts. Opponents have just one homer and three earned runs against the southpaw.
Rosenbaum has been even more consistent than he was last season, when he won the Single-A Potomac Nationals' Player of the Year honors.
"His fastball is not straight and it has very good late action, his breaking stuff continues to improve," said Menhart. "His fastball command has been the one thing that has really stood out in those first five outings."
Rosenbaum is destined to join Lehman at Triple-A Syracuse if that kind of consistency remains. Menhart said that Rosenbaum is in an outstanding groove and has improved over last season, when he won nine games combined between Potomac and Harrisburg. I would expect him to be in Syracuse soon.