The Oakland Athletics were impressed by what they saw from top pitching prospect Dan Straily after he joined the big club last year. He posted a 5-2 team record in seven starts in August and September, helping the A’s make an improbable run to the MLB Playoffs.
Unfortunately, 2013 hasn’t gone nearly as well for the young right-hander.
Straily is 1-2 with an inflated 7.27 ERA through his first five starts this season. Those numbers are made even worse when you consider that he was outstanding in his season debut against the Houston Astros, allowing only five hits and two earned runs while striking out 11 over 6.2 innings back on April 5.
Since then, Straily has been the pitcher of record going into the sixth inning only once in four starts, giving up 21 hits and 19 earned runs over just 19.1 innings.
Enter Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. Straily will be facing the Rangers for the second time in less than a week after getting tagged for five runs (four of them earned) in 4.1 innings pitched on May 15. He didn’t have his command on that night, issuing four walks compared to only two strikeouts. That’s become a recurring theme as Straily has handed out 11 free passes over his last three outings.
The good news is that the A’s are hitting again, having scored nine runs in last night’s series opening rout. The bad news is that they’re up against Yu Darvish on Tuesday; all he’s done is go 7-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 0.92 WHIP this season. Perhaps Oakland can draw some confidence from the fact that it took two of three games against Darvish last season.
First pitch is at 8:05 p.m. Eastern.