The Oakland Athletics have a “problem” that most teams would love to have — an abundance of servicable starting pitchers. On Friday, 24-year old Dan Straily made his season debut, tossing a solid 6 2/3 innings against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
In 2012, Straily wowed the A’s organization in Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento, tallying 190 strikeouts in 152 innings. He advanced to the majors and pitched 39 innings for the A’s, but didn’t really show the same kind of dominance (which is common for pitchers transitioning to the big leagues for the first time). However, Friday’s start was very promising. Straily had a solid grasp of his fastball and off-speed pitches, amassing 11 strikeouts over the course of the time he was on the mound. It’s expected that he’ll be sent back to Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, since it’s the first day that Bartolo Colon is eligible to play (after serving a five-game suspension dating back to his punishment for PED use from last season).
So the question is, will Straily be given enough of a chance to contribute to the A’s all season? Between Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin, Colon and Brett Anderson, the A’s might have their hands full. It may be a ridiculously small sample size (one start), but the Straily that showed up on Friday night was a bit more consistent than the one that pitched a few games last season. I bet he ends up making around twenty starts for the A’s this season; after all, Oakland always seems to have to deal with the injury bug.