On Saturday the San Francisco Giants placed veteran Matt Cain on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Promoted to the 25-man roster in his stead: right-hander Chris Stratton. Here's a quick profile.
A first round pick out of Mississippi State in 2012, Stratton was supposed to be an advanced prospect but hasn't developed as quickly as hoped. He split 2015 between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento, posting a combined 3.95 ERA with a 111/62 K/BB in 148 innings.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Chris Stratton, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 190 DOB: August 22, 1990
2013: Grade B+; 2014: Grade B; 2015: Grade C+
A first round pick in 2012, Stratton hasn’t been bad as a pro but hasn’t dominated to the extent expected. A serious concussion suffered when he was hit by a batted ball late in 2012 may be related: he threw 92-94 before that but has been more 89-92 in the years since. It could be a coincidence, but sometimes a person who suffers a concussion is never the same neurologically. That could make a difference given the tiny physical performance margins necessary to sustain success as a baseball player. Stratton still has a good slider but his change-up hasn’t really developed and his command is inconsistent. I think he would be best off in relief. Grade C+.
Stratton returned to Sacramento to open 2016, making nine starts, going 5-4 but with a 6.02 ERA, 36/15 K/BB in 52 innings, 58 hits.
Word is that Stratton will not be used as a starter right now and will take a long relief slot in the bullpen. That seems eminently logical. Stratton hasn't been the same pitcher since getting hit in the head with the line drive; his velocity has never fully bounced back. He still has a fine slider but his softer pitches (curve, change) are fringy at best. In shorter doses it is possible his harder stuff could play up.
He can still pick up some whiffs.