Pointstreak, the official statistician of the Can-Am League, has announced that Quebec Capitales RHP Lazaro Blanco has been named the league’s first recipient of the Rawlings Pitcher of the Month award for the 2017 season. Blanco has been honoured for a month of June in which he went 3-1 and struck out 27 hitters over five starts.
Blanco took a no-decision in his first start of the month, striking out four Rockland Boulders and allowing three runs in six innings on June 4. The Boulders won 6-4. The Granma, Cuba, native returned to mound on June 10 to face the Ottawa Champions, and allowed just one run on four hits over seven strong innings, striking out four. Unfortunately for Blanco, he was outdueled, and took the loss in a 2-0 Ottawa win.
Blanco won his final three starts of the month. He was dominant on June 15 at home against the Cuban National Team, working 8.1 innings and giving up a run on five hits. He struck out five of his countrymen, and Quebec won 5-1. He started again on June 20 at Ottawa, and exacted revenge on the Champions after his loss 10 days prior. Allowing three runs in six innings, Blanco struck out six and the Capitales took a 7-4 road win .His final start of the month took place on June 25 against the Dominican Republic, and it was Blanco’s most dominant effort of the month. He allowed one hit and two walks over eight shutout innings, striking out eight.
On the season, Blanco is now 6-1 with a 1.96 ERA. He owns a 45:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 50.1 innings of work.
2017 marks Blanco’s first season in the Can-Am League. He pitched in his native Cuba from 2004 until the winter of 2017, and appeared with the Cuban National Team in the 2015 Pan-Am Games and the 2017 World Baseball Classic.