General manager David Forst on Wednesday said the importance of the young A's pitchers who spent the majority of their 2020 at the San Jose alternate training site will on display in 2021.
Pitching prospect Grant Holmes is part of that group. His ability to combine a strong pitch-mix with a lot of resiliency proves he could make his way to being a staple on the A’s pitching staff this season.
“The big thing for me is just staying healthy, my shoulder’s strong and mobile,” Holmes said on the latest episode of Balk Talk. “The next would probably be continuing to fill up the strike zone, first-pitch strikes, and throwing my secondary stuff for strikes. I think if I can do those things, I’ll have a pretty good shot. Because I mean, my stuff speaks for itself, it just gets wild every now and again.”
He also took advantage of his time at the alternate training site, saying he believes he threw enough innings there to “feel good going into next year.”
Holmes admitted his wildness can get him in trouble sometimes, but he remains confident in the pitches he has in his repertoire. He feels especially confident in his curveball and the velocity he’s able to have behind it.
“It’s hard, it’s anywhere from 79 to 84 [mph],” Holmes said. “Sometimes it’s loopy and sometimes it’s when it’s really on, it’s very sharp and it looks just like a fastball and it just, you know, breaks, but -- that’s my favorite pitch. My next would probably be -- secondary stuff -- my cutter.”
Holmes posted a 3.23 ERA across Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. He also features a sinking fastball, which has the ability to make hitters hit a lot of groundball outs.
Holmes has faced some injury setbacks in his career, but they're often forgotten with the way he’s able to shift his mentality.
He had shoulder injuries in 2018, but pitched well with High-A Stockton during the playoffs after returning. Holmes says that his ability to come back from all of that is bigger than baseball.
"Taking things for granted, it'll bite you in the butt sooner or later,” Holmes said. “You won't have it and then you'll want it, and it won't be there, you know? You just got to stay thankful and do what can do."