Oakland Athletics rookie right-hander Andrew Triggs was promoted to the major league roster yesterday and made his big league debut right away, throwing an inning of shutout relief against the Detroit Tigers. Triggs was involved in an unusual transaction in spring training: with the Orioles when camp opened, he was placed on waivers when the Orioles signed Pedro Alvarez. The Athletics picked him up and here he is in the majors.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book, written when he was still in the Orioles system.
Andrew Triggs, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 210 DOB: March 16, 1989
2013: Grade C; 2014: Grade C; 2015: Grade C
Triggs was originally drafted by the Royals in the 19th round in 2012 from Southern Cal. The Orioles purchased him in the spring of 2015 and he pitched so well in Double-A that he earned a spot on the 40-man roster going into 2016. He doesn’t throw extremely hard but he pounds the strike zone from a three-quarters delivery, collecting strikeouts and ground balls at a brisk pace, posting a 2.28 GO/AO last year (with zero homers in 61 innings) and running up a 2.78 mark in his whole career. His breaking ball is very effective against right-handers and he held them to a .184 average (with a 3.69 GO/AO) at Bowie. ROOGY or general middle relief profile, but should help in the bullpen soon. Grade C.
Triggs' ground ball tendency in the early part of 2016 is even more insane than normal, with a 5.50 GO/AO in his first seven innings of pre-promotion work for Triple-A Nashville. This comes on the heels of his excellent 2015 season (1.03 ERA, 70/11 K/BB in 61 innings for Double-A Bowie, just 42 hits, 2.28 GO/AO).
Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs wrote a nice article about Triggs back in March, pointing out in particular his wide repertoire (two and four-seam fastballs, slider, cutter, change-up) and his unusual arm slot that adds trickiness to the package.
Speaking of ground balls, here's an ironic home run off Triggs by Russell Martin in spring training, ironic because Triggs has given up few homers in the minors (just seven in 243 innings).
If he can avoid too many mistakes within the strike zone, Triggs could be a sound middle or short reliever.
(Editor's Note: I haven't been fully satisfied with the title "what to expect" with the rookie reports we've been doing recently, so I've decided to change them to "MLB Rookie Report." The content will remain the same, it is just a different title).