A.J. Griffin led the A’s in innings this season and ranked second in ERA behind Bartolo Colon, but the 25-year-old right-hander won’t be in the ALDS rotation because of an elbow injury.
A’s manager Bob Melvin told Jane Lee of MLB.com that Griffin has been dealing with elbow tendinitis for a while now and it’s gotten worse of late, so Oakland will give him the round off and hope he’s available later in the playoffs. There wasn’t much sign of an injury within Griffin’s performance, as he started five September games with a 3.19 ERA and 37/6 K/BB ratio in 31 innings for arguably his most impressive month of the season.
Without Griffin as an option the A’s announced that Colon will start Game 1 against the Tigers, followed by rookie Sonny Gray in Game 2, Jarrod Parker in Game 3, and Dan Straily in Game 4.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.