Oakland’s Dan Straily strikes out 11, wins and then gets demoted

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Dan Straily knew he was only a member of Oakland’s rotation because Bartolo Colon had a handful of games left on his 2012 PED suspension. So, it didn’t come as any surprise when he was optioned to Triple-A after striking out 11 Astros and picking up his third big-league victory Friday.

Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com has the story.

Straily allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings in the victory. He became the third straight starter to reach double figures in strikeouts against the Astros after the Rangers’ Yu Darvish and Alexi Ogando did on Tuesday and Wednesday. Poor Matt Harrison managed only nine strikeouts against them on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Straily moved to 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA in eight big-league starts. However, he wasn’t able to beat out A.J. Griffin for the fifth spot in Oakland’s rotation this spring, meaning he was one-and-done this week.

Fortunately for Straily, these are the A’s. It’d be a minor miracle if they made it through the month of April without losing a starter due to injury. Straily is the clear No. 6 on the depth chart, and he’ll be recalled next time the A’s need a replacement. In the meantime, the team will go with Brett Anderson, Colon, Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and Griffin in the rotation.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.