Pitcher Preview: Cole De Vries vs Sonny Gray

Thearon W. Henderson

Minnesota will get a look at Sonny Gray for the second time in less than two weeks.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Cole De Vries 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 8.0 12 7 7 4 5 4 7.88 2.13

After making a pair of relief appearances this month, De Vries is making his first start since September 8, 2012. It's been a bumpy ride in his two outings so far this fall. Against the A's on the 11th he gave up three runs in the first of three innings, while on the 16th against the White Sox he relieved Liam Hendriks when the Aussie could get through the first inning. Three home runs really ruined his outing, because apart from those three bombs he was quite effective over five innings. But when the feast outweighs the famine, it's going to be a bad night anyway.

There's not a lot of love for De Vries in terms of vying for a starting job in 2014, but he's a great option for a minor league contract and I hope that's the route this goes. Cole has great command when he's at his best, and over short stints that's something that can help him be effective as a stopgap pitcher for the Twins.

Getting the slider to work is something I'd like to see De Vries do today. It was his most effective pitch last season, but it hasn't been working on the whole over his eight innings this month. Gardy said he wants his pitchers to work on their off-speed pitches, and no doubt this is one of the things he's talking about.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Sonny Gray 3-3 10 8 0 0 0 0 54.0 41 18 15 3 15 56 2.50 1.04

After a pair of relief appearances in July, Gray was moved into Oakland's rotation in August. Since then, six of his eight starts have been "quality" starts, and he's struck out exactly one batter per inning. Against the Twins on September 11 (he and De Vries have pitched opposite each other before), striking out seven in five innings and allowing just two runs. Yes, his outing against the Twins was one of his two non-quality starts...and it was still a pretty good one.

Against lefties, Gray's curveball consistently dives out of the zone and the changeup plays just over the outside corner. Against righties, the slider and the curve work away regularly but the changeup doesn't make too much of an appearance.

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