Jesse Hahn made his 2016 debut on Friday for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, pitching against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Hahn needed only 74 pitches to throw six scoreless innings, striking out five and allowing just two hits. On the downside, he also walked three batters, which is important since his control seems to be one of the things he was sent down to work on.
Hahn remains in the long-term mix for the fifth spot in the Oakland A's rotation, though it is unclear how long the team wants him to spend in the minors nor what particular signs of readiness they might be looking for. Eric Surkamp was serviceable in his first start for Oakland, as he would have made it through five full innings against the Mariners if Jed Lowrie had properly fielded a tailor-made GIDP ball to end the 5th. Surkamp is currently scheduled to go against the Angels on Wednesday, and if he's effective again then it could give the A's the chance to be patient with Hahn if they see fit.
Spin: This was certainly a great first effort by Hahn, and it naturally makes you wonder what in particular the A's want to see out of him. Is it a matter of showing this level of success a couple more times to prove it's real? Is a lower walk total just as important as putting up zeroes? Is it a matter of building his pitch count back up to triple-digits? There's so much that we don't know about this situation that it makes it tough to form any kind of informed opinion on it. The A's generally seem to know what they're doing with pitchers, so I'm going to trust that whatever length of time they want Hahn to stay in the minors has a good reason behind it. Besides, Surkamp looked just good enough in his debut that I'm interested in seeing him again as long as he's already here.
As for the rest of that Nashville game, Matt Olson hit a pair of doubles and Joey Wendle added a double, a single, and a stolen base. After Angel Castro blew the save in the 9th, Renato Nunez hit a walk-off triple in the 11th to win it. Dillon Overton makes his Triple-A debut on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. PT.
Around the rest of the minors: Raul Alcantara threw five innings for the Double-A RockHounds and struck out nine batters against just one walk, albeit in a losing effort as the Hounds got shut out. Daniel Mengden makes his debut start for Midland at 5:10 p.m. ... In High-A Stockton, 2014 third-round pick Brett Graves got knocked around a bit in five innings but still came out with five Ks and just one walk, which was a nice sign after struggling in the K/BB department last year. Bobby Wahl made a brief appearance as well but only retired one of the four batters he faced. Heath Fillmyer makes his Ports debut at 7:10 p.m. ... The Single-A Beloit Snappers had their game shortened by snow, and Saturday's game has already been postponed.