The idea that it would be July and a member of the Oakland A’s starting rotation, one who had been there for the majority of the season, would be searching for their first win on the year should be laughable. But that was the case for James Kaprielian entering Friday night.
To be fair, he had not exactly pitched well in his previous 11 outings. Kaprielian had pitched into the sixth inning as many times (5) as he had allowed at least four runs in a game. When he would pitch well, the A’s offense would be dormant. When the offense would perform, Kaprielian would struggle. It was a vicious cycle.
James Kaprielian finally gets into win column
That changed on Friday. Not only did Kaprielian finally pitch through the sixth for the first time this season, he also notched his first victory in 2022. It was a solid outing for the A’s starter as he allowed just one run on three hits and two walks, striking out four in the win.
The A’s have to hope that this is what Kaprielian needed to get his season on track. He had appeared to be the A’s default ace once Frankie Montas was traded, only to see Paul Blackburn and Cole Irvin pass him in the pecking order.
However, he does have that former top prospect pedigree. He was the 16th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft and a consensus top 100 prospect heading into 2017. Although injuries slowed his development, he still appeared as though he could be a solid piece of the A’s rotation moving forward.
That has to be the case. The A’s have some intriguing pitching prospects, but they still need to find younger arms that have been able to establish themselves in the majors. If he improves in the second half, Kaprielian could be exactly that.
James Kaprielian finally earned his first victory of the 2022 season. The Oakland A’s hope that outing is the beginning of a turnaround.