Jul 19, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Angels won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Bartolo Colon was slammed for five runs in his shortest start of the year on Wednesday afternoon.
It was just another strong reminder that the A’s are, in fact, struggling. The A’s rotation, the team’s heart and soul during the first-half, has largely struggled since the break.
If Colon suddenly comes crashing back down to Earth, what will the A’s do in terms of addressing their starting rotation’s woes?
The A’s optioned the usually reliable Tommy Milone last week to Triple-A after a terrible outing against Texas at home. His command was off during that game and has been rather inconsistent all year-long.
Milone, who played a large part in Oakland’s success last season, could find himself being passed up in favor of promoting Gray. The A’s, according to John Hickey of the Contra Costa Times, could be on the verge of calling up the former first-round pick as a potential starter for Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays.
At this point Hickey calls a potential Gray call-up purely speculation, but the A’s wouldn’t exactly surprise me if they did give Gray a shot at starting sooner rather than later. Oakland is in the middle of a slump and fresh, new blood might be the answer for Oakland’s recent struggles.
Gray has worked four innings of relief in a brief stint with Oakland while also recording six strikeouts. In 20 games with Triple-A Sacramento, Gray owns a 10-7 record and a 3.42 ERA over 118.1 innings of work. He’s also recorded 118 strikeouts while allowing 39 walks this year with Sacramento.
The former Vanderbilt Commodore owns a fastball with good movement that can top out at 95 mph. His aggressive approach when early in the count and willingness to use his breaking ball all signals, to me, anyway, that Gray has a solid future ahead of him.
Some people see Gray better suited as a reliever, but I’m sure he’ll find his way as a starter. If the reports are true, the A’s will roll with Jarrod Parker in Friday’s game against the Blue Jays, and give A.J. Griffin a day off on Saturday and push his start back to Sunday. Saturday, then, suddenly becomes open for a guy like Gray.
Regardless of what happens with Gray, it is easy to see that the A’s are in need of some fresh blood. Adding Gray to a rotation that has been treading water this month wouldn’t hurt by any means.