Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in Oakland

rjuckett
May 31, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (7) high fives pitcher Max Scherzer (31) after their win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Nationals won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2017; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth (7) high fives pitcher Max Scherzer (31) after their win against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Nationals won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports /
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ANDREW TRIGGS

Andrew Triggs loved the University of Southern California so much that he was drafted three times before finally signing a big-league contract. Selected by Cleveland and San Francisco before signing with Kansas City after graduation, he was picked up off the scrapheap by Oakland before becoming a major-league pitcher.

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The Athletics claimed him off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles last year. They returned him to the starting rotation this spring where he has excelled.

In 10 starts, Triggs is 5-4 with an ERA of 2.64 in 58 innings. He is not a strikeout artist, the nine he tossed at Houston over seven shutout innings is a season high. Oakland is holding his pitch count around 90 as he only topped 100 twice and averages 91.5 a start.

He does not feature a fastball. Instead, Triggs has a mix of sliders and sinkers with a curve thrown in. An offspeed paradise.

He faces Stephen Strasburg Friday night—not a junkball pitcher—for what should be an entertaining matchup.

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With Gray’s future in Oakland perpetually uncertain, Triggs has the chance, along with the injured Kendall Workman, to be the ace for a while. Although hammered in his last two starts by the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, he will give Oakland six good innings this time.

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