Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month and the American League Rookie of the Month for July, marking just the sixth time since the Rookie of the Month Award was introduced in 2001 that a Player or Pitcher of the Month Award winner has garnered Rookie honors in the same calendar month. Archer joins Dontrelle Willis (FLA, June 2003), Ryan Braun (MIL, July 2007), Jeremy Hellickson (TB, May 2011), Mike Trout (LAA, July 2012) and Yasiel Puig (LAD, July 2013) as the only players to accomplish the feat.
Archer went a perfect 4-0 with a 0.73 ERA, two shutouts, seven walks and 22 strikeouts in 37.0 innings to help the resurgent Rays to a 21-5 mark during the month. Among Major League rookies, Chris ranked first in wins and shutouts and also led all rookies with a minimum of 27.0 innings pitched in ERA and a .140 opponent batting average. His 0.73 ERA was second-best overall behind New York Yankees righthander Hiroki Kuroda (0.69) and it marked the lowest ERA ever by a rookie in the month of July. According to Elias, only three other rookiessince 1920 have registered a monthly ERA lower than Archer's mark: Junior Thompson of the Cincinnati Reds (0.72 in September 1939); Dave Ferriss of the Boston Red Sox (0.45 in May 1945); and Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers (0.20 in April 1981). Archer allowed just 6.57 baserunners per 9.0 innings pitched in July, ranking third in the Majors behind Clayton Kershaw (5.55) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and teammate David Price (6.33).
The 24-year-old notched the first complete game of his career on July 14th against the Houston Astros as he scattered five hits and struck out eight in a 5-0 shutout victory at Tropicana Field, marking the first shutout for a Tampa Bay hurler since James Shields on September 9, 2012. The Raleigh, North Carolina native was again on point in his July 27th start against the Yankees, tossing a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 triumph in the Bronx. He struck out six and walked none in the 97-pitch gem, becoming the first Ray ever to throw a shutout against the Yankees in their 268th game against New York. Archer is the first rookie since Baltimore's Arthur Rhodes in 1992 to shut out the Yankees in the Bronx, and additionally became the first rookie (and eighth pitcher overall) since 1916 to accomplish the feat in New York on two hits-or-less without allowing a free pass.
Others receiving A.L. Pitcher of the Month votes were Archer's Rays teammates David Price (5-1, 1.68 ERA, 3 CG, 1 BB, 35 SO) and Matt Moore (4-0, 2.08 ERA, 1 SHO, 8 BB, 32 SO); Hiroki Kuroda (3-0, 0.55 ERA, 6 BB, 24 SO) of the Yankees; Greg Holland (11 G, 11 SV, 0.82 ERA, 1 BB, 15 SO) of the Kansas City Royals; and Jered Weaver (4-1, 1.32 ERA, 8 BB, 37 K) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Other rookies receiving votes for A.L. Rookie of the Month included Wil Myers (.352, 6 2B, 4 HR, 18 RBI) of the Tampa Bay Rays and David Lough (.281, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals.
In recognition of his American League Pitcher of the Month and American League Rookie of the Month Awards, Chris Archer will receive two specially designed trophies, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.