Sometimes the life of a player with a minor-league option remaining just isn’t fair.
Dan Otero has been fantastic out of Oakland’s bullpen this season, going 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 71 innings while walking a grand total of nine batters. But the A’s needed to make roster room for outfielder Craig Gentry’s return from the disabled list and because Otero has an option remaining he was the choice to be demoted to Triple-A.
He’ll no doubt be back when rosters expand in September, but for a 29-year-old with a career 2.35 ERA in 122 innings as a major leaguer it’s gotta be a tough situation.
Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.
Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.
Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.
Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.