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Elephant Rumblings: Luis Medina finishes season with strong start

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Oakland Athletics v Minnesota Twins Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

Luis Medina has been one of the A’s most intriguing rookie pitchers this season. He can deal the filth, but often has a hard time keeping his pitches in the zone. Medina’s situation is akin to many talented rookie pitchers: if he can develop consistent control and keep his cool in the clutch, his future in MLB could be bright.

Yesterday, Medina finished his 2023 campaign on a high note, logging just his second quality start of the season to lead the A’s to a narrow 2-1 victory over former Athletic Sonny Gray and the Minnesota Twins.

Despite the positive result, Medina’s performance was not without signs of potential concern. He still walked three batters, and his outing nearly fell apart in the sixth inning when he hit Alex Kirilloff with a pitch with two runners on, loading the bases with no outs.

As Martin Gallegos at noted, Medina’s velocity was also down. His fastball averaged 94.6 mph, in contrast with his season average of 96.1.

Luis may have benefited from some good fortune, but he also demonstrated greater maturity and an ability to make the most of what he had in the tank at the moment in escaping that sixth inning jam with just one run allowed.

Medina struck out a modest total of four batters, but induced a lot of weak contact. That helped him get out of the sixth as the A’s got three outs on two groundballs after the bases were loaded. Balls in play against Medina averaged just 86.9 mph yesterday.

Shea Langeliers, who caught Medina yesterday, said the the 24-year-old righty has “definitely matured.” Medina now has over 100 MLB innings under his belt. We’ll see how this experience benefits him in Spring Training next year, where Luis surely hopes to compete for a spot in the 2024 rotation.

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