Athletics prospect update: RHP Royber Salinas promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas

The Oakland A's have promoted RHP Royber Salinas to Triple-A after a strong start to the year.
Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics promoted pitching prospect Royber Salinas to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday afternoon.

The righty has pitched to a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings at Double-A Midland in 2024 and has struck out over 31% of batters in that limited sample. He's walked a few too many hitters this year but is off to a solid start and will step right into the Aviators' rotation as of this week.

Salinas has had a bit of a bumpy ride since coming to Oakland in the Sean Murphy trade back in the winter of 2023. He had mixed success last year, posting a 5.48 ERA in 68 innings at Double-A, though that did come with a 30.9% strikeout rate.

Salinas was eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason and though he was nearly left unprotected, the Athletics chose to add him to the 40-man rather than risk losing him. That choice is paying off so far, as the A's are seeing some early returns on their choice to keep him around.

Will Salinas make his MLB debut this summer?

Salinas has always had the stuff to be an effective starter, he just hasn't always been able to turn that into success on the mound. He has a wipeout slider and curveball combination that have allowed him to consistently post strikeout rates above 30%, and he's had good luck at lower levels preventing damage on contact.

The righty also throws a power sinker that clocks in around 98 mph, similar to the one Lucas Erceg throws. The pitch has gotten plenty of whiffs for Salinas and that should continue into the upper levels.

Despite his propensity for strikeouts, Salinas hadn't posted an ERA below 4.00 at any level above Single-A until this year. While he does have a FIP of 4.09 right now, he's been able to stifle opposing hitters and keep runs off the board.

Ultimately, that's all we can ask - keep working on the things you can control and the results will come. It seems fairly likely that Salinas will get a chance to crack the Athletics rotation at some point this summer. Even with the returns of Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina on the table, the A's rotation has had some issues.

We'll see how the A's handle the rotation with starter Joe Boyle having been placed on the IL as of Monday afternoon, but if things start to go sideways before Medina and Waldichuk are ready, Salinas could get the call to make his debut.