The Oakland Athletics are 1/2 game out in the wild-card race. They lead the American League in ERA. Yet their best pitcher, in terms of sheer performance, is at Triple A.
Doesn't quite make sense.
So, don’t be surprised if the Athletics try to figure out a way to squeeze right-hander Daniel Straily into their rotation soon.
Straily, 23, is a combined 6-6 with a 2.64 ERA at Double A and Triple A. Those numbers, however, don’t begin to tell the story.
For the season, Straily has allowed only 87 hits in 126 1/3 innings while striking out 162 and walking only 36. His WHIP — walks and hits per innings pitched — is below 1.00.
Oh, but this gets better.
Straily actually is dominating more at Triple A than he did at Double A. Since moving to the hitter-friendly Pacific League, he has allowed only 17 hits in 41 innings while striking out 54 and walking just 13.
The obvious question for the A’s is, “What the heck is this kid still doing in the minors?” But the problem is that the team’s rotation is about to get even more crowded with the pending returns of right-hander Brandon McCarthy and lefties Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden.
One short-term way to clear a spot for Straily would be for the A’s to move one of their present starters to the bullpen. Right-hander Bartolo Colon has the highest ERA of the group — 3.88. Rookies Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin all are performing extremely well.
Colon still could be traded — the Orioles are among the teams that have shown interest, sources say — but the A’s likely would want major-league value for a pitcher earning only $2 million, especially now that they are in contention.
Amazing, isn’t it?
All teams should have Oakland’s problems.
— Ken Rosenthal