Fresno Grizzlies’ Dan Straily is Surging

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Dan Straily had another impressive outing. If you’ve heard this recently, it’s because I’ve written this in each of the past two Fresno Grizzlies weekly recaps. This makes it three in a row. After struggling to start the season, Straily took a look at some tape and made some minor mechanical fixes that have gotten him back to pitching like he did in the 2013 season with the Oakland A’s. That season the righty went 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA, his best season in the big leagues.

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Funny enough, after his outing on Saturday night in Oklahoma City, Straily currently sports a very similar ERA to that season, holding a 3.91. Last night he went six innings of three-hit, one-run ball, recording a season-high ten strikeouts. Combining his last three starts, Straily has totaled 19 innings pitched while allowing four runs (1.89), two walks and striking out twenty-three. When the time comes to promote another starter to fill the vacancy left by Scott Feldman, it could very well be Straily that gets the call. ESPN.com has Brett Oberholtzer scheduled as the Astros’ starter on Monday in Baltimore, and with Straily having just pitched he won’t be getting the call for Monday, but when the need arises again the Astros may have to shuffle their rotation a bit to accommodate the surging righty.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the team’s performance in the past seven days. Oddly enough, the Grizzlies have gone just 3-3 since Monday splitting four games at home and two on the road. Fresno has swapped 2-1 victories with Oklahoma City the past two days and in the four games prior to that saw their pitching staff allow 17 total runs at home.

Jon Singelton has slowed from his blistering stretch of the last two weeks, going just 2-for-20 (.100) since Monday, with both hits coming last night. Singelton wasn’t the only player to struggle at the dish this week. Even Carlos Correa slowed down, going 3-for-24 (.125) with a home run and an rbi, both of which came in Tuesday’s game against Memphis. In his last ten, Correa is batting just .158, dropping his batting average with the Fresno Grizzlies down to .237.

One player that has performed well in limited action this week is the recently promoted Tyler Heineman, who went 5-for-12 (.417) with a double and four rbi this week. Heinman and Max Stassi have been taking turns behind the plate since the call up, and Stassi has continued to struggle, going 1-for-9 with a home run in three games. His average is down to a paltry .188 on the season, down from his minor league career average of .247.

Even with a so-so week, the Fresno Grizzlies still hold a five game lead in the division (sound familiar?), but the second place team is now the Reno Aces (DBacks), who went 4-2 this week. Sacramento (Giants), the former second place team, went 1-5 including a sweep at the hands of the Nashville Sounds. Nashville is currently the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate, with Sacramento being their former long-time affiliate. Given the cross-town rivalry between the two teams at the big-league level and this recent history at the minor league level, that sweep had to sting a little for the River Cats.

Today at 12:05 PST the Grizzlies continue their series against Oklahoma City before wrapping up the series on Monday. From there it will off to Colorado Springs (Brewers) to face the Sky Sox from Tuesday through Friday, before returning home to face Reno.

Next: Feliz Added to the Bullpen

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