The TinCaps have featured one of the best pitching staffs in the league for most of this season (a few hiccups in the bullpen early in the year notwithstanding) and the Midwest League recognized that excellence Friday. The league named 20-year-old Osvaldo Hernandez the Left-Handed Pitcher of the Year and gave 25-year-old Travis Radke the award for Left-Handed Reliever of the Year.
Hernandez and Radke, the latter of whom is now pitching in Triple-A El Paso, were both named to the league's Postseason All-Star team Friday, the first time since 2012 the TinCaps have had two players make the team (that year it was catcher Austin Hedges and pitcher Adys Portillo).
“The entire Padres organization is really proud of both Osvaldo and Travis, and happy for them to see their hard work rewarded,” manager Anthony Contreras said in a statement. “They’re both lefties, and both have overcome different obstacles to achieve their success.”
Hernandez has been arguably the best pitcher in the league – right-handed or left-handed – this season. He leads the league in wins (11) and ERA (1.81) and has given up one or zero earned runs in 14 of his last 17 starts, a sustained run of excellence that has kept the TinCaps afloat during some of their roughest stretches of the season.
Radke did not start the season with Fort Wayne, but made his first appearance with the team April 10. He eventually pitched 57 innings over 35 appearances and was named a Midwest League All-Star. In those 57 innings, he struck out 77 hitters and walked just nine, the third-best K/BB ratio in the league. He was the team's de-facto closer and was third in the league in saves with 14 when he was promoted to Double-A on Aug. 4. After an appearance there and two at High-A Lake Elsinore, he moved up to Triple-A El Paso and is one step from the major leagues.
"I will never forget my time in Fort Wayne and want to thank the Lord for all of the opportunities and blessings he has given me this season," Radke said in a statement.