It is now or never for Grant Holmes
By David Hill
It appears to be inevitable that the Oakland A’s will have a fire sale this offseason. With the departure of Bob Melvin, and questions about the A’s payroll, the expectation is that anyone making anything resembling a respectable salary will be sent elsewhere. As the A’s are also not expected to spend much, if anything at all, in free agency, this will lead to several opportunities for their minor leaguers.
One player that may finally get a chance is Grant Holmes. A former consensus top 100 prospect, Holmes was part of the return for Josh Reddick, someone who was expected to be a key part of the A’s rotation moving forward. However, injuries and command issues have held Holmes back where he is still yet to make his major league debut.
Grant Holmes may have one last chance
As it is, the A’s may not be sure as to what to do with Holmes. A starter throughout much of his professional career, he made just eight starts in his 36 appearances last year. He posted an 8.01 ERA and a 2.095 WHiP over his 66.1 innings, striking out 71 batters with 40 walks.
Holmes still has an intriguing arsenal. His fastball is in the mid to upper 90s and his slider continues to flash as a plus pitch. He added a cutter last season that is already, at worst, an average major league offering. His changeup continues to lag behind his other offerings, and if he ends up in a relief role, may be best to be scrapped entirely.
As has been the case throughout his career, command is the issue. Holmes may have solid stuff, but if he cannot harness it, he will continue to struggle. That can be seen in his performance as he not only loses the zone, but cannot spot his offerings in the strike zone, leading to his pitches catching far too much of the plate.
This may be his final chance to prove that he can be a part of the A’s future. He remains on the 40 man roster, but one has to imagine that his hold on that spot is tenuous at best. Not only will Holmes need a strong spring training, but he may need to hope that the A’s do not make too many low cost additions this offseason.
Grant Holmes was supposed to be a part of the Oakland A’s future. He may be down to his last chance to prove that he can contribute.