Pitcher Preview: A.J. Griffin vs Scott Diamond

Brian Bahr

Some guy Oakland has never heard of but is okay against a guy Minnesota has never heard of but is pretty good.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - A.J. Griffin 13-9 29 29 1 1 0 0 182.0 163 85 79 33 50 150 3.91 1.17

Griffin is a 25-year old right-handed pitcher, a 13th round selection by the A's in 2010. Out of the University of San Diego he was teammates with Twins draft picks Matt Hauser (also drafted in 2010, has had a steady career to date and could be in Triple-A in (2014) and Bryan Haar (one of our "Top 10 Position Player Prospects to Watch").

Griffin made 15 starts for the A's in 2012 before sticking full time this season, and so far has put together a pretty good career: 44 starts, 264 innings, 214 strikeouts, 69 walks. Those are ingredients for a good mid-rotation starter, and Griffin has been very good by those standards.

He totes an upper-80s fastball and a slider that aren't too bad, but his curve (upper 60s) and his changeup (around 81) are both plus offerings. He'll stay away from lefties with both of his breaking balls and the changeup is almost exclusively used to nip the lower, outside corner, but his fastball makes everything work even if it's not overpowering. With good command, if he can put the fastball where he wants it, it'll set everything else up. Against right-handed hitters the curveball is used more liberally, like his fastball, across most quadrants of the strike zone. The slider stays away on the outer third, and the changeup will usually be thrown at the knees but, according to heat maps, it looks like Griffin will also try using the changeup to get righties to climb the ladder.

Looking at his splits, Griffin has been strong this year to both sides but righties tend to slug him just a bit better. Hopefully Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier can get into one this afternoon. Provided they can pick up on his three-quarter delivery.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Scott Diamond 5-10 20 20 0 0 0 0 107.2 136 72 66 16 31 45 5.52 1.55

When the season started he was the one sure thing we thought we could count on in the rotation. Now, in his first start since August 1, we get to see him battle just to be in a position to try and stick around for one of the spots in spring training.

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