From Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that the A’s have decided to promote top pitching prospect Sonny Gray from Triple-A Sacramento to bolster their major league bullpen.
Gray, the 18th overall selection in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, has posted a cool 2.81 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 107/34 K/BB ratio across 102 1/3 innings (16 starts) this season in the Pacific Coast League. He has not pitched out of the bullpen once in his three minor league seasons, but it shouldn’t be too difficult of a transition and the 23-year-old could eventually be asked to join the rotation in Oakland if something goes wrong with one of the current starting pitchers.
Gray ranked 65th on Baseball America‘s listing of the Top 100 prospects prior to the 2012 season. He did not make the cut this winter because of a trying 2012 campaign during which he moved from rookie ball all the way to Triple-A.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.