Athletics travel to Salt River Fields to take on Rockies in split squad matchup

The Oakland Athletics take on the Colorado Rockies at 1:10 pm this afternoon
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers / Masterpress/GettyImages

The Oakland Athletics are set to take on the Colorado Rockies in the second half of their split squad matchup this afternoon. A's lefty Kyle Muller is set to take the mound against Rockies lefty Kyle Freeland.

Following the news that Luis Medina was dealing with a knee sprain and would likely miss a few weeks, Muller worked to seize the 5th and final rotation spot on Oakland's opening day roster.

After struggling through the 2023 season, working both in the rotation and out of the bullpen, Muller has come out firing this spring. In his first 8 innings, he has a 1.13 ERA and 11 strikeouts to just 3 walks.

His velocity has been solid, with the fastball sitting mid-90's, and his secondary stuff has been sharp, evidenced by the strong strikeout numbers.

Muller is currently battling against Joe Boyle for the open spot in the A's rotation. The latter has put up some impressive numbers between 2023 and this spring, but does have some control issues that surfaced in his last start.

If Boyle's struggles continue, Muller might find himself in the rotation by default. Boyle still has option years remaining, whereas Muller doesn't. He certainly hasn't been bad enough to warrant a DFA so we expect to see Muller in Oakland to start the year. How it will play out into the summer is anyone's guess.

Starters traveling from Mesa to Scottsdale for today's game include second baseman Zack Gelof, catcher Shea Langeliers, and outfielder Esteury Ruiz. Langeliers draws the start at DH today, while veteran Carlos Perez will work behind the plate.

Perez isn't on the 40-man but has the experience to provide serviceable innings for the A's should they decide Tyler Soderstrom needs more time at Triple-A.

Utilityman Hoy Park looks to continue his spring hot streak. He's posted a .968 OPS in 14 games, though has astonishingly neither struck out nor drawn a walk to this point. He's shown strong plate discipline in the minors, posting double digit walk rates, so it's a surprise to see him getting so aggressive in his approach.

The Rockies send out lefty Kyle Freeland who has a 3.00 ERA in his first three starts. He hasn't been known to post high strikeout rates in his career but is striking out more than a batter per inning so far this year. The A's will look to pour cold water on Freeland's hot start. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm PST.