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.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.