Top pitching prospect from Reddick trade makes first start for Nashville

 

Nashville Logoby Charlie O. Mallonee

Right-hand pitcher Jharel Cotton was traded to the Oakland Athletics as a part of the trade deadline deal that sent outfielder Josh Reddick and pitcher Rich Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cotton – who is on the 40-man roster- was assigned to to the A’s Triple-A affiliate in Nashville.

Cotton made his first start for Nashville on Thursday night in Colorado Springs where the ball flies just like it does at Coors Field due to the altitude. It is certainly not a pitcher friendly park.

Cotton – who has an above average four-seam fastball and change up – took the mound and worked six strong innings. He gave up just one run (earned) on six hits. Cotton struck out five Sky Sox batters and walked just one. He did allow one home run.

Cotton faced 24 batters in his six innings of work. He induced the opposing hitters into four groundouts and seven flyouts. Cotton threw 95 pitches (60 strikes).

When Cotton exited the game at the end of six innings, the Sounds led the Sky Sox 4-1. The Sounds would hang on to win the game 5-4. Cotton was credited with the win and his record improves to 9-5 on the season with a 4.70 ERA.

In the reordering of the A’s top prospects after the trades, Cotton is considered to be the 16th best prospect out of Oakland’s top 30 farm hands. With the A’s struggling to find pitchers to fill the back end of the starting rotation, Cotton could be a candidate to join the big club for a tryout start. If he continues to have success, Cotton certainly would a September call up candidate when the rosters can be expanded.

Third baseman Renato Nunez – rated the A’s sixth best prospect – played a big part in the Sounds victory last night in Colorado Springs. Nunez hit a two-run double (17) in the top of the second inning to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.

Nunez struck again in the top of the fourth inning when he hit a two-run home run off starting pitcher Hiram Burgos. It was the 18th home run of the season for Nunez. The four RBI in the game increased his total to 61 for the season.

Nunez certainly has the power numbers (17 doubles, 2 triples, 18 home runs) but the A’s would certainly like to see him raise his batting average the current .229. He has minor league career batting average of .267.

There was one other player of interest to Northern California fans playing in the game last night. Former Giant/Sacramento River Cat and Roseville resident, catcher Andrew Susac – who was traded to the Milwaukee organization – played for the Sky Sox and went 1-for-5.

Right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes – who was acquired as a part of the Reddick/Hill trade –  will make his first start for the A’s high Class-A team – Stockton Ports – in San Jose tonight. Sports Radio Service will report on that game in our Saturday edition.

 

 

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