SACRAMENTO -- Big league success may be on hold for pitcher Dan Straily but he's staying dialed in. Like most Minor Leaguers Straily worked incredibly hard to be a successful Major League-caliber player. It appeared he had finally achieved his dream after going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his first three starts with the Oakland A's.For now though, he is stuck in the Minor Leagues. On Monday, Straily was optioned to Triple-A to make room on Oakland's active roster for Brett Anderson. Then on Wednesday, Bartolo Colon got suspended 50-games for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Straily would have been ready to take Colon's spot in the rotation but the A's couldn't call him up because of baseball's 10-day rule. He isn't eligible to return to Oakland until August 31."My agent talked to me about it and said it is one of those rules put in place to protect players," Straily said on Thursday. "Whatever happens it is out of our control."Straily leads all of professional baseball with 191 strikeouts. He started the year in Double-A. The 10-day scenario might be one of the least crazy turns of events in Straily's career after riding a wave of incredible success in 2012. As the obvious choice to return to the A's starting rotation after Colon's suspension, being highly coveted is new to Straily who was told he wasn't good enough to make it early in his collegiate career. "It's a crazy turn of events," Straily said. "You can always use other people's comments to motivate you. It happens to other people and it has been a motivator my whole life." Straily, 23, believes everything happens for a reason. He isn't sweating the details that are currently holding him back. Either way, he says he is happy to be pitching in a playoff run -- whether it be in Oakland with the A's, or Sacramento with the River Cats. No matter where he happens to be he isn't changing his approach on the mound. "I feel like you have to earn the right to belong," he said. "I feel like I've just got to keep working."Straily's most recent start came on Thursday in Sacramento. He only threw five innings and struggled a little with his fastball command. He was pitching on a full week's rest. Struggles aside, he only allowed one run on three hits. He was held to 82 pitches, a telling sign the A's organization believes he has much more important innings ahead of him."Just trying to keep his arm fresh for when the big league team calls," River Cats pitching coach Scott Emerson explained on Thursday after Straily's start. "To go out there and not have his best command and only give up one run to what I consider a pretty good hitting Triple-A team is a testament to him."Last year Straily threw 160 23 innings in the regular season for the Stockton Ports. He has thrown a total of 160 13 innings in 2012. "There's a lot of pitching left to be done," Straily said. "I just go out there whenever I'm handed the baseball and compete until they take it away from me." At this point the young righty is playing with house money. He may keep it simple and not sweat the small stuff off the mound, but his strong work ethic and character are second to none. "He's worked hard to achieve everything he's achieved," River Cats manager Darren Bush says. "It hasn't been something where all of a sudden something happens. It's a tribute to him, the pitching coaches in the organization, the pitching philosophy, he's just like a sponge.""It's one of the things you prepare for your whole professional career -- being in the big leagues," Straily said. "You have to remember that between the lines the game is the same." When the 10 days are up Straily will be ready for the call. He could be recalled even sooner if a player goes on the disabled list. Don't think Straily will be sitting by his phone waiting for it to ring. He'd rather spend time honing his game. "He's been on a wild a ride," Bush said. "He's a good guy, a good person with good character. To see those guys have success you've got to be very happy for them."
10-day rule has Straily's future in standby mode
August 26, 2012, 5:47 pm