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Elephant Rumblings: Luis Medina trending up

MLB news roundup

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MLB: Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

There never was a doubt that A’s starter Luis Medina has good stuff. The fireballing rookie regularly hits triple digits with his fastball, and he can elude bats with a complementary curve. The question has always been, “How well can Medina control his considerable powers?”

That remains an open question, as Medina’s BB/9 remains elevated at 4.28 after his first 75⅔ big league innings. But he has shown promising signs of greater control in fits and starts lately, especially in yesterday’s loss against the Rockies, in which Medina struck out six and walked none in 5⅓ impressive innings of work. As Martin Gallegos at MLB mentioned yesterday, Medina’s “improvement has been an obvious upward trend.”

Medina has shown that he can dominate when his command is good. He’s also developed a slider this season that Gallegos noted was the most impactful of his five pitches yesterday. Medina threw that slider nearly a third of the time and logged a career-high 12 swings and misses.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay remarked that Medina is “making strides in all facets.” After posting a 7.55 ERA through his first eight appearances with the A’s, the 24-year-old righty has logged a much improved 2.97 ERA through his last seven outings.

Medina isn’t out of the woods yet with respect to his propensity to give away too many free passes: he walked three in five innings against the Astros in his prior start on July 23rd. But overall there may be significant improvement becoming evident in this department: through his past four appearances, Medina has walked just five in 22 innings.

How this high-upside young starter fares through the rest of the season figures to be one of the more interesting storylines for A’s fans to follow in this mostly down season. Keep striving, Luis Medina!

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