For the first time this season, the Oakland A’s were witness to the upside of one of their top prospects in Dan Straily.
Amusingly, Straily wasn’t even supposed to start Thursday’s game against the Cubs, but Oakland’s ace, Jarrod Parker, needed 2 additional days off after a hamstring injury, and the 24-year-old right-hander picked up the slack in a big way. Straily pitched 7 innings of 1-hit ball against the admittedly lowly Cubs lineup, and in the process, struck out 6 while throwing an ultra-efficient 85 pitches.
Straily’s effort was good enough to hold the Cubs off in a 1-0 victory (with some help from a run-scoring passed ball from Wellington Castillo), but the one-game sample takes a back seat to the future with Straily. He has struggled visibly at times this season, as evidenced by his 4.52 ERA even after this stellar outing, but the “stuff” should play in a big way when he’s right. Straily struck out over 11 batters per inning in the minors last season, and that staggering total is indicative of the type of upside he presents for the A’s.
The strikeouts haven’t quite been there in the majors (career 7.22 K/9 in 106 innings), but for one day, Straily flashed the high-end starter upside that we’ve all heard about in Oakland. He may not have a permanent spot in the rotation at the moment, but at 24 years old, there is still time for the righty, and if he can replicate Thursday’s efforts, it may not be long until we see full-time work for Dan Straily in Oakland.