SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jesse Hahn’s impressive spring hit its first speed bump Sunday.
Unable to harness his command, the right-hander was tagged for seven runs in 3 1/3 innings in the A’s 9-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields.
Hahn entered the day having positioned himself nicely for one of the two available spots in Oakland’s rotation. Sunday’s dud, in and of itself, certainly doesn’t dash those hopes. But it makes for interesting watching the next time he takes the mound.
“I just know what I did wrong out there, I need to get the ball down,” he said. “Last year, I got caught up in thinking about that stuff. It didn’t turn out well. So I'm going to let that one go and work on what I need to work on to have a good one the next outing.”
Hahn put up a scoreless first, but he began elevating his fastball in the second and Colorado knocked him around for five runs. Three singles and a two-run triple from Charlie Blackmon did damage, and two walks issued by Hahn and a passed ball from catcher Stephen Vogt didn’t help.
“His velocity was still good, but he got in bad counts, and he couldn’t get back into the count with breaking stuff,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He just got out of sync and he got hit hard.”
Hahn's ERA rose to 7.50, but before Sunday, he’d allowed just three runs total in five outings, including an exhibition against Team Italy that doesn’t count toward spring stats.
Andrew Triggs and Raul Alcantara are Hahn’s primary competition for the two rotation spots, but non-roster lefty Ross Detwiler also remains as an option too. Working in Hahn’s favor, all of the above have endured at least one shaky outing.
“Look, to an extent everybody’s going to have some struggles in spring training. That’s just the way it is,” Melvin said. “So here we are with two weeks left, we’ve got some games left.”
NOTEWORTHY: After right-hander Daniel Gossett was reassigned to the minors Sunday morning, the A’s sent four more players down after the game — catchers Sean Murphy and Matt McBride, second baseman Max Schrock and reliever Chris Smith.
Murphy, a third-round pick out of Wright State last summer, is one to watch, as he earned praise from Melvin on more than one occasion and displayed a strong arm and ability to work well with pitchers. The A’s now have 40 players in camp — 20 pitchers and 20 position players.
ODDS AND ENDS: Lost in the discussion of Hahn’s pitching struggles: The A’s collected just two hits in Sunday’s loss. Yonder Alonso and Adam Rosales drove in their runs. Mark Canha, drawing a start in center field, doubled. … Reliever Jake Sanchez, who impressed the A’s coaching staff with his WBC performance for Team Mexico, retired both hitters he faced after relieving Hahn in the fourth. “He’s got a great slider and he knows where he’s throwing the ball,” Melvin said. Sanchez was borrowed from minor league camp.