Grant Holmes running out of time with Oakland A’s
By David Hill
There was a time when Grant Holmes was considered one of the top prospects in baseball. The 22nd overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft, he was a consensus top 100 prospect prior to the 2015 and 2016 seasons. When Holmes was acquired by the Oakland A’s as part of the deal that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers, he was considered the headliner of their return.
While the other pieces in that trade have made their major league debut, and in the case of Frankie Montas, been able to establish themselves, the same cannot be said for Holmes. However, he appeared to have a strong chance to be a part of the A’s bullpen for the 2022 season at the very least, considering that he is out of options and the number of openings in their relief corps.
Instead, Holmes fell completely flat. He was hammered in spring training, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk in his 2.1 innings. That performance was bad enough that he was outrighted off the 40 man roster and sent to Triple-A.
Grant Holmes may be out of time with Oakland A’s
Holmes did not inspire much confidence in his showing at Triple-A last season. He had begun to convert to the bullpen with an eye towards finding a path to the majors but struggled regardless of his role. He posted a disappointing 8.01 ERA and a 2.095 WHiP in his 66.1 innings, striking out 71 batters, but also issuing 40 walks.
On paper, Holmes has the stuff to be a solid piece in the middle of a bullpen. He has a fastball that can top out at 97 MPH, a slider that can flash as a plus offering, and a respectable cutter. His command has always been problematic, but that should be less of an issue in the bullpen.
Instead, Holmes has been unable to have his potential translate into results. And yet, he is still just 26 years old and could turn the page. Maybe this demotion, and being unclaimed off of waivers when he was outrighted from the roster, will be the catalyst needed to get him to become the pitcher the A’s had hoped for. Otherwise, his time with the A’s could end unceremoniously.
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Grant Holmes was supposed to be a key part of the Oakland A’s core. Instead, his chance to make an impact may have come and gone already.