Black Sox Beat Writer
Chicago Sports Online
The Chicago Black Sox have chosen their Pitcher of the Year for 2040, and it goes to a familiar name: SP Juan Nicto, who also took home the honor in 2039.
He won his 100th major league victory during the course of the season (a 7-3 win over Louisville on July 18), and now stands at 106-80 for his career.
“It gives you a feeling of confidence when you can write Juan’s name on the lineup card every fifth day,” said pitching coach Art Messer. “The man can pitch, plain and simple.”
And pitch often: he started 34 games and threw 202.2 innings in 2040.
Nicto beat out fellow starter Amayas Moelling for the team honor this year. Although Moelling had a nice year – including a no-hitter against Omaha on Aug. 11 – he faltered down the stretch, putting up a 6.40 ERA in 6 September starts.
“We think Amayas will win this award plenty of times in the course of his Black Sox career, but this season there was just no question that Juan was deserving,” said General Manager Vic Caleca.
Nicto said he was honored by the recognition, but doesn’t play the game for awards.
“I just like to pitch,” he said. “And I especially like pitching in the new ballpark – it’s a great pitchers’ park.”
In fact, Nicto’s 2040 splits show just how much he liked pitching in Chicago. He went 10-2 with a 2.28 ERA at home, versus 7-5 with a 4.68 ERA on the road.
“What’d I tell you?” he said. “That home cooking in Chicago just agrees with me!”