One had to imagine it would take some time for Ken Waldichuk to settle in when he was acquired by the Oakland A’s.
After all, he had traveled across the country, going from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania to Las Vegas. Not only did he need to travel close to 3000 miles, but he was joining a different organization and heading to an offensively charged Pacific Coast League. The fact that he allowed three runs in 3.1 innings in his first outing should not have been much of a surprise.
Ken Waldichuk found his way quickly in Las Vegas
It turned out that Waldichuk needed just that one start to acclimate himself. He has been dominant since, posting a 2.35 ERA and a 1.174 WHiP over his 15.1 innings, striking out 18 batters with just three walks. The opposition has a .254/.302/.424 batting line in their 73 plate appearances, a solid enough showing in the PCL.
That comfort level was clear on Wednesday. Waldichuk allowed three runs, although just one was earned, on three hits and a walk over five innings, striking out nine batters. At one point, he struck out seven in a row, taking matters into his own hands.
At this point, it is a question when he will get to make his major league debut. He is already the A’s top pitching prospect, a status that he received when he was acquired for Frankie Montas. Considering he offers the type of upside that no one else on the major league rotation does, it is just a matter of time until he gets that chance to prove himself.
That time may not take much longer if he continues to perform at his recent level. Waldichuk is showing that he does not have much left to prove in Triple-A and deserves a look in the majors. Considering that the A’s have been cycling through players in their rotation, he should get a look soon.
Ken Waldichuk has settled in at Las Vegas and is beginning to dominate. It is a matter of time until he gets that call to the majors.