Castellanos, Gray pushing for call
By Jason A. Churchill | ESPN.com
This week the St. Louis Cardinals summoned right-hander Michael Wacha, the Seattle Mariners called up infielder Nick Franklin and the Tampa Bay Rays have called on right-hander Chris Archer, among other prospects getting a ticket to the majors of late. The next wave could include the following pair:
Nick Castellanos, OF -- Detroit Tigers
After a slow start to the season in Triple-A Toledo, Castellanos has been solid over a lengthy stretch to get his season numbers to .274/.347/.447 in 55 games. The 21-year-old has turned it up a notch the past few weeks, batting .351/.467/.595 over his past 10 games, and drawing eight walks versus just six strikeouts. He's drawn 25 walks on the year, 13 in his last 15 games.
Castellanos has made a solid transition to the outfield -- he's a natural shortstop that started his pro career at third base -- and the Tigers may have use for him in left field this summer. Right now, however, they appear to be riding out the hot streak of Avisail Garcia.
Sonny Gray, RHP -- Oakland Athletics
Gray's weaknesses coming into 2013 included control, fastball command and overall consistency. The 23-year-old has been sensational this season for Triple-A Sacramento, allowing just one long ball in 56 2/3 innings and producing a 58-19 K/BB ratio. He's kept the ball down and out of the middle of the strike zone all season and in his past two outings has his breaking ball working to the tune of 20 strikeouts in 13 innings.
The A's don't have an immediate need for a starter, but the next time they call to the minors for help, Gray could have his contract purchased. He's certainly earning it.