The Candidates: Alex Cobb, Darin Downs, Matt Gorgen, Austin Hinkle. Cobb got off to a good start with a 2.84 ERA over 4 starts. In 19.0 innings he struck out 19 and walked 5. Other than one bad start (4/21, 3.1 IP, 5 ER), he's allowed one earned run or less in his other starts. Downs has 4 wins in 4 starts with a 1.75 ERA. In 25.2 innings he struck out 19 and only walked 2. Gorgen picked up 3 saves in 5 appearances while allowing no earned runs for the month. In 9.0 innings he struck out 13 and walked 4. Hinkley had 3 saves in 6 appearances with a 0.75 ERA. In 12.0 innings he struck out 14 and walked 6.
The Winner: Darin Downs. The 24 year-old lefthander was acquired by the Rays in a trade with the Chicago Cubs last July. He was originally drafted by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2003 draft out of Santaluces High School. We'll see if the control holds up. Last year he pitched for three teams totaling 66 strikeouts and 38 walks over 72.1 innings with a 4.98 ERA.