A.J. Griffin Throws Complete Game For Athletics

Minor league pitching instructors spend their lives drilling the importance of fastball command into the heads of their young pitchers. For Athletics righthander A.J. Griffin, that's never been a problem.

Griffin, 24, used his strike-throwing ability yesterday to throw a rare nine-inning complete game for Triple-A Sacramento, allowing one run and six hits without issuing a walk and striking out six. He threw 72 strikes in 93 pitches and gathered 14 groundouts.

Given his polish, there's a reasonable chance Griffin could be looking at a major league promotion after the all-star break. He has a 2.78 ERA in 45 1/3 innings in Triple-A, with 38 strikeouts and six walks after posting a 2.49 ERA in 43 1/3 innings with Double-A Midland to start the year. The fastball is average, but he spots it well and has an out pitch in his above-average changeup, so he could slide into the back or eventually the middle of a big league rotation very soon.