Straily once again proved it during his first start of the 2013 season. Strikeout Straily struck out a staggering 11 batters in the 8-3 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night and the righty held the opposition at bay for the majority of the game. Houston has struck out an embarrassing 56 times over their first four games this season, so it was like pitching to high school kids for the fireballer.
The 24-year-old got through 6.2 innings, while allowing just two earned runs on five hits. The A’s jumped out to an early lead and it was all Straily needed to get his first win of the year.
So how was Straily rewarded for his career-high strikeout performance?
He was quickly sent back down to the minors to make room for Bartolo “Jabba the Hut” Colon in the rotation. The move is absolutely baffling considering the strikeout potential that Straily possesses and the potential that Colon has to eat himself out of the league. I know I would rather have a young ace in the rotation, as opposed to a pitcher that is pushing 300 pounds.
Straily, much like Tampa Bay Rays’ Matt Moore, has been a very underrated strikeout pitcher throughout his minor league career. Straily has struck out 559 batters in 519 innings of MiLB work and has shown a great four-pitch repertoire. He could be an amazing addition to the A’s rotation, but he simply needs to get the chance first.
Straily will likely be back in the rotation sooner rather than later, because I honestly just don’t see Colon lasting long this year. I wouldn’t recommend picking up Straily off the fantasy wavier wire just yet, but certainly keep an eye on the kid as he mows down batters in the minors.