Adrian Sampson has been named the International League Pitcher of the Week, Rob Biertempfel tweets. Sampson pitched seven scoreless innings Friday against Lehigh Valley, striking out seven and walking one while allowing a double and three singles. His success so far this season precedes this week, though -- after a somewhat rocky first outing April 10, he's gotten good results in every start so far.
It's too bad he isn't the sort of pitcher who would obviously thrive in a relief role. I saw Sampson the two weeks ago against Columbus. He doesn't have overwhelming stuff, but he throws in the low 90s and he throws strikes, and if you need someone to fill out the back of your rotation, you could do a lot worse. He's also probably still getting better -- he struck out 5.9 batters per nine innings which pitching mostly at Altoona last year, and so far this year he's whiffing 9.5 pitching at a higher level (albeit with a higher walk rate). That's in a small sample size, but it's a trend worth watching.