Right before the season I graded the A’s offseason’s moves and with fake baseball nearing an end I thought now would be a perfect time to catch up with the moves and see how much my opinion has changed (or not changed).
I decided to start with the Gio Gonzalez move, which I graded an A- back in April. This trade brought (RHP) Brad Peacock, (LHP) Tom Milone, (C) Derek Norris and (RHP) A.J. Cole to Oakland and sent (LHP) Gio Gonzalez to Washington.
Brad Peacock was the main piece surrounding this trade, he still has not seen any time up in Oakland, but I expect that he will make his debut with the A’s at some point this season. Over 14 starts in Triple-A Sacramento Peacock has a 6-3 record with a 5.67 ERA and 1.59 WHIP. Although those numbers don’t look great, he has a .370 BABIP and 3.50 FIP which tells us that he may not be pitching up to his potential and we can probably expect better things from him in the future.
He currently has a 10.7 H/9 rate, which seems to be what’s hampering him the most right now. With a high BABIP of .370 his hits could very well be because of the defense, or lack of and just plain bad luck. Either way, looking at the bigger picture shows there is no need for concern regarding the high ERA.
Tom Milone was named as the 4th starter during spring training and has been with the team since opening day. I have talked about it before, but I will say it again, there are two Tom Milones; the one who pitches in the Coliseum and the one who pitches on the road.
Milone has been quite successful at home this season so far, over 6 games he has a 5-1 record with a .99 ERA, a .186 BABIP and 3.10 FIP. At home he’s holding batters to a .169 BA and has a 1.58 BB/9 rate.
Away from the Coliseum Milone has been…horrific. Over 8 games he has a 2-4 record with a 7.42 ERA, a .330 BABIP and 6.28 FIP. Opposing batters are hitting .317 off him on the road and he has a 2.47 HR/9 rate as opposed to the .20 he has at home. He does strike out more people on the road, having a 6.80 SO/9 rate as opposed to his rate of 3.74 at home.
It’s hard to say what will happen with Milone in the future, but he is going to have to start finding a way to get those outs on the road like he does at home if he wants to be a successful major league pitcher.
Derek Norris made his major league debut with Oakland yesterday, as of right now his major league career is a .000/.000/.000 slash line in 3 AB.
Norris left Triple-A Sacramento with a .273/.331/.474 slash line with an .804 OPS and .349 wOBA. He had 8 HR and 37 RBI over 55 games.
With Norris up in Oakland now, it’s now just a matter of how much playing time he will actually get with him and Kurt Suzuki splitting the catcher duties.
A.J. Cole was demoted from Class-A Stockton after he started the season going 0-7 over 8 starts with a 7.82 ERA. Cole’s numbers have improved in Low-A Burlington, he has a 2-0 record with a 3.29 ERA over 6 starts. Most impressive is his 10.2 SO/9 rate and 5.17 SO/BB ratio.
Cole is not anywhere near making the big leagues, but should be making his way back to Stockton at some point this season.
Gio Gonzalez has been a quality pitcher for the Washington Nationals this season thus far, he has made 14 starts for the club and has a 9-3 record with a 2.55 ERA and .261 BABIP and 2.06 FIP. He also has 2.8 rWAR, which is 3rd in the NL among pitchers.
Gonzalez has a 10.74 SO/9 rate and a 2.97 SO/BB ratio, which compares to last season’s 8.78 SO/9 rate and 2.16 SO/BB ratio. He league the league in walks last season with 91, and this season has so far slightly lowered his BB/9 to 3.61 as opposed to last season’s 4.05.
My grade has not changed much since the beginning of the season, with Milone’s struggles on the road and Peacock and Cole’s struggles in the minors as well I will have to lower my grade to a B.
I still believe that there is a future for all 4 of these players, but perhaps it’s not as bright as I/we originally expected.