Sonny Gray, the super prospect for the Oakland Athletics, has joined the club in Toronto. Gray, who was sent straight to Double-A after getting drafted 18th overall in the 2011 MLB draft, will make his first-ever big league start on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Susan Slusser, the beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and President of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America, tweeted out the following about the arrival of Gray:
Gray flew in on the same flight with Adam Rosales yesterday – they landed about midnight.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 9, 2013
Adam Rosales, who just returned from a three-game stint with the rival Texas Rangers, could very well be the guy who loses his roster spot to Gray on Saturday. Then again, the infielder, who has already been designated for assignment three times in the last month, could yet survive. For his part, the fan favorite told Slusser: “Whatever happens, happens.”
Alberto Callaspo could be shelved with a left forearm contusion that may require a trip to the DL. There’s also the possibility that right fielder and 2012 Gold Glover Josh Reddick could get optioned to Sacramento. It’s hard to think that the right fielder, who has continued his impressive play in the field, is going to suddenly snap out of a funk that extends back to the second half of 2012.
Getting sent to the minors would be quite the setback for Reddick. Then again, Tommy Milone was just demoted. In his first outing in Triple-A, the left-hander put in a solid effort as he reeled off seven strike outs. Perhaps a trip to Sacramento could be just the trick to get Reddick out of his offensive slumber, which has clearly gotten to his head. Or perhaps, another one of the struggling outfielders will get sent out.
Regardless of who ends up losing their spot, all the attention on Saturday will be focused on Gray, the former Vanderbilt University standout. On Thursday, ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney praised the 23-year-old righty on “95.7 FM The Game,” the club’s flagship station.
Like Gray, Olney went to Vanderbilt and said for scouts, the obvious comparison for the young right-hander is Tim Hudson. That’s not just because both pitchers are rather diminutive, but also because of the way in which Gray competes. The undersized Hudson is known around the league as the “Bulldog.”
Even Olney admitted, though, that calling up Gray is no sure thing. But he added: “I don’t think he’s going to be overwhelmed in anyway because that’s just not him.”