When the Dodgers acquired left-handed starter Rich Hill and outfielder Josh Reddick on trade deadline day, the three names going back to the Athletics in the deal were minor leaguers Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas.
Obviously the deal “winner” won’t be known for a while, and we probably shouldn’t even bother with such subjectivity at any point, save for blowout cases. So far, though, Cotton has made a name for himself in the Oakland organization.
First off, he nearly threw a perfect game in his second Triple-A outing for Nashville. As things turned out, he’d pitch to a 2.82 ERA in six games there before getting the call to make his MLB debut on Wednesday against the Angels.
He would throw well. In fact, historically well when it comes to MLB debuts for A’s pitchers.
Cotton’s final line? 6 1/3 innings, two hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts.
This was the first MLB debut outing in which an A’s pitcher worked six or more innings while allowing two or fewer hits since 1940, per A’s baseball information manager Mike Selleck. The last time this happened was when Porter Vaughan pulled it off on June 16, 1940.
Cotton would come away with the win, as the A’s would hold on, 4-1.
It was quite a debut that once looked to the A’s like it might be a disaster:
Jharel Cotton had some nerves during his bullpen session before the game and wasn’t throwing well. Vogt confirms. “It was not good.”
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 7, 2016
He fought through those nerves, and now he’s a big-leaguer with a 1-0 record.
Source: CBS Sports / A’s right-hander Jharel Cotton delivers one of best debuts in franchise history