Today was one of my favorite days of the year — the first day of the MLB Draft. In my Draft Preview, I suggested that the Giants were likely to select either a high school pitcher or a college hitter. They did not, despite the 2nd and 3rd best college hitters (in my view) being available. There were also a lot of high school arms available. Yet for the first time under John Barr, and the first time since 2006, the Giants selected Chris Stratton from Mississippi State University. While I favored Duke RHP Marcus Stroman, I certainly have no qualms with the selection.
Stratton is a 21 year old RHP (he’ll be 22 in August) who should remain as a starter. This year, Stratton made 17 appearances and 12 starts, posting a 2.38 ERA, 127 strikeouts and 25 walks in 109 and 2/3 innings. Stratton has a good fastball, a slider, a change-up, and a curveball. While he doesn’t have top-of-the-rotation upside, he looks like he should be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
The biggest knock on Stratton is his age, as he is already 22. Still, he has solid polish and should move quickly. And with the signing deadline being moved up a month, Stratton could start his career earlier.
All in all, while this wasn’t the sexiest of picks, Stratton was good value and he provides starting pitching depth that could help the Giants fairly quickly. And given that his age likely takes away some of his leverage, the Giants could target a high-upside player like a Duane Underwood or Tanner Rahier tomorrow.
Guillermo Mota will face a 100-game suspension after testing positive for Clenbuterol, a drug that apparently has aerobic benefits, reports Jon Morosi. This is the second time Mota has been suspended for PEDs, as he served 50 games back in 2006 when he was with the New York Mets. Mota is appealing his suspension, according to Andrew Baggarly, but because he’s a second-time offender, he must start serving it immediately. This means the Giants will go through the next three to four months without Mota.
In the past couple seasons, Mota has emerged as a useful innings-eater in the Giants’ bullpen. In fact, last season he had a couple outings of 4+ innings — something he had never done before. Ultimately, his tenure with the Giants has been nothing short of mediocre (90 ERA+ across 145 innings), but there’s still value in that. That said, it’s not as though this will be much of a roadblock for the Giants this season.
UPDATE: According to ESPN, Mota’s agent said that the Clenbuterol was in children’s cough medicine that Mota had taken.