The Starting Rotation
Entering the month of May, the A’s had plenty to be happy about in regards to their rotation. The Kendall Graveman-led rotation was holding its own entering May before slowing down in May.
Graveman and Jesse Hahn were both lost to injuries in May.
Andrew Triggs, a surprise in April, did face his share of struggles in May. Triggs went 1-3 with a 3.45 ERA in five May starts after going 4-1 with a 1.84 ERA in April.
The numbers in May weren’t terrible for Triggs, but they were starting to trend in the wrong direction.
He held opponents to a .193 average in April, but got hit a bit harder in May and opposing offenses hit .261 against him. His walk rate also rose from 5.1% in April to 8.2% in May.
Jharel Cotton was sent down early in the month before returning to face the Yankees on May 27.
Perhaps the biggest story for the A’s in May was Sonny Gray‘s return. Gray, 27, has been a leader for the A’s since his emergence in 2013, but struggled through an injury plagued 2016 season.
The A’s ace started the year on the disabled list, but returned on May 2nd in Minnesota against the Twins. The right-hander went six innings and allowed four runs on five hits.
Gray went on to have several more “meh” starts before turning in a dominant performance against the Miami Marlins on May 24th. Gray went seven innings and struck out 11 (one shy of his career high) in the A’s 4-1 win over the Marlins.
He was rocked in his last start against the Indians, however. The Indians tagged Gray for seven runs (all earned) and did so on 9 hits through 4.2 innings.
Gray’s recent start came as a surprise for many, especially after he had pieced together a nice two game winning streak before falling in Cleveland.
The A’s will likely try to flip Gray at the trade deadline this year, but will only do so if the price is right.