A look at the Top 10 performances by American League pitchers in spring training so far this year . . .
CLAY BUCCHOLZ, Boston Red Sox
The 26-year-old right-hander is proving last year was no fluke. Buccholz has not given up a run this spring over three appearances and nine innings. He’s given up just five hits while striking out six and walking just two. Buccholz was 17-7 last year with the Red Sox with a 2.33 ERA.
ZACH BRITTON, Baltimore Orioles
Britton is one of the top pitching prospects in the American League. The 23-year-old left-hander has a 0.00 ERA over nine innings and three games this spring. Britton, who has yet to make his major league debut, has allowed eight hits and three walks.
CARLOS VILLANUEVA, Toronto Blue Jays
The 27-year-old veteran of five big league seasons is making a strong bid to make the Blue Jays’ final roster. Villanueva, who pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2006-10, has allowed five hits and no runs over 7.1 innings this spring. He has also fanned five. Villanueva was 20-24 in 230 appearances with the Brewers.
JEFF MARQUEZ, Chicago White Sox
Marquez, who was acquired in a trade for Nick Swisher two years ago from the New York Yankees, has not allowed an earned run this spring in 7.1 innings and four appearances. The 26-year-old right-hander has struck out 10 and walked just one. He pitched one game for the White Sox last season in his only major league appearance.
BRAD PENNY, Detroit Tigers
The 32-year-old right-hander is enjoying one of the best springs of his career. Penny has allowed just eight hits and one earned run over 10.1 innings this spring. He has fanned six and walked just one. Penny has pitched 11 seasons in the big leagues with Florida, the Los Angeles dodgers, St. Louis, Boston and San Francisco.
ADAM WILK, Detroit Tigers
The 23-year-old left-hander has allowed just one earned run in 10.1 innings and five appearances this spring. Wilk, who has yet to make his big league debut, has struck out five and walked just one.
LUIS MENDOZA, Kansas City Royals
Mendoza, a non-roster invitee to the Royals’ camp this spring, has been almost unhittable. The 27-year-old right-hander has given up just one hit and no runs and no walks over 7.2 innings. Mendoza has pitched four years in the big leagues with Texas and Kansas City.
CARL PAVANO, Minnesota Twins
Pavano has been sharp this spring, allowing just nine hits and no runs in 13 innings over four starts. The 35-year-old right-hander has also walked just one while fanning seven. He has pitched 13 seasons in the major leagues with Florida, Montreal, the Yankees, Minnesota and Cleveland.
HISANORI TAKAHASHI, Los Angeles Angels
The 35-year-old left-hander has given up just four hits and no runs or walks over seven innings and four appearances this spring. Takahashi made his big league debut with the New York Mets last season, going 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA and eight saves in 53 games.
GIO GONZALEZ, Oakland A’s
The 25-year-old left-hander has been overpowering this spring. He has allowed just four hits and a run while striking out 13 in 9.1 innings and three starts. Gonzalez has pitched his three seasons in the big leagues with the A’s, going 22-20 with a 4.43 ERA.