With ace starter Rich Hill still nursing a blistered finger, and with no timetable for his return, the Oakland A's are moving forward with a substitute for his next turn in the rotation on Sunday. Jesse Hahn will start against the Tampa Bay Rays, reports Jane Lee and the rest of the insiders.
It's been an odd season for Hahn. The questions entering 2016 revolved around whether he would be healthy enough to flash his undeniable talent, but instead the reverse has happened -- he stayed free of injuries, but isn't pitching all that well. His awful spring training landed him in Triple-A to start the year, and he's ranged from decent to awful in his two MLB stints so far. Even in Triple-A, he's walking a batter every other inning through a dozen starts.
But still, with Dillon Overton ineligible to return for several more days after his recent send-down, Hahn is a perfectly acceptable choice to make a spot start. It wasn't long ago that his talent allowed him to headline a trade for an All-Star catcher, and the only way to rediscover it is to keep running him out there. As it happens, there's space to run him out there in Oakland on Sunday, so it sounds like a plan. Maybe this is the time he sorts himself out and sticks around for good, and either way at least he's more interesting than Zach Neal.
As an extra point of interest, this will be Hahn's first career start against the Rays, who drafted him in the 6th round back in 2010.
Hahn 2016, MLB: 7 starts, 6.49 ERA, 34⅔ ip, 16 Ks, 15 BB, 6 HR, 5.57 FIP
Hahn 2016, AAA: 12 starts, 3.63 ERA, 52 ip, 36 Ks, 26 BB, 2 HR, 4.57 FIP
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