Sonny Gray was the Oakland Athletics‘ first-round pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft, and the 23-year old pitcher has quickly skyrocketed through the minors, where he’s now dealing for the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats.
The A’s are off to a slightly disappointing start at 20-22 this season, and Dan Straily has had a particularly hard time putting together consistent outings for the big-league team. Straily was battered on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers and now has a 7.04 ERA in four starts, and hasn’t really looked very effective overall.
Thus far this season in Sacramento, Gray is 4-1 with a 2.19 ERA spread over six starts. He just made the leap from Double-A Midland to Triple-A last season, so he doesn’t have a tremendous amount of minor league experience yet. In that short time, though, he’s definitely progressed in a manner that has to please the organization.
This begs the question: considering Straily’s struggles (and the rough starts of other pitchers like Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson), should the A’s be considering giving Gray a shot at his Major League debut? Or is it too early?
Pitching depth has always been a strength of the A’s franchise, and it appears as if Gray is suddenly one of the stronger options at the minor league level.
After Wednesday’s loss, manager Bob Melvin was asked about the team’s pitching woes, to which replied with something to the effect of “What we have here is what we’re going to have to work with” — but is that true?
The team could always give the 23-year old Gray a look, just as it did with Straily last year.
Straily looks as if he still needs some time to figure out how to be a consistent pitching threat at the big-league level, so maybe it’s time to at least consider giving Gray a shot. You never know, he could be one of those pitchers that bursts out of the minor leagues and takes the league by storm.
But then again, it also could be much too early for conversations like this. With the A’s struggling, though, it’s an option to at least consider.