A's rookie to make first major-league start vs. Marlins (Jun 14, 2017)
MIAMI -- For better or for worse, Daniel Gossett won't soon forget whatever happens on Wednesday.
Gossett, a 24-year-old right-hander from Lyman, S.C., will make his major league debut for the Oakland A's, starting against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. He will be opposed by Edinson Volquez, who threw a no-hitter earlier this month.
"This is a childhood dream come true," Gossett told SFGate.com. "There's an unbelievable amount of emotions at the same time."
A former standout at Clemson University, Gossett was Oakland's second-round pick in 2014. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA last year, pitching at three levels -- Class A, Double-A and Triple-A. He also struck out 151 batters in 153 2/3 innings. He led all Oakland minor-leaguers with those 151 strikeouts.
This year, he went 3-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Nashville, striking out 54 batters in 60 2/3 innings. And in his past three starts, he allowed a combined total of just four runs. In his past five starts, he had a 2.25 ERA.
Gossett, who has a self-described "herky-jerky" delivery, will face a Marlins lineup that beat the A's 8-1 on Tuesday and features speed at the top in Dee Gordon and significant skill and pop in the next four spots: Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto.
Ozuna, who leads the Marlins in batting average (.332), ranks second in homers (16) and is tied for the lead in RBIs (44), is having a season that may be worthy of an All-Star Game, which is fitting since Miami will host the event on July 11.
"I have to earn it," Ozuna said of the All-Star Game after going 3-for-3 with a homer on Tuesday night. "I have to fight for that spot."
Ozuna has been particularly good at home this season, hitting .386 with 11 homers at Marlins Park.
Of course, the Marlins (28-35) have another hot player destined for Wednesday's lineup card, and that's Volquez (3-7), who has won three games in a row, recovering from a horrid 0-7 start. In the middle of that win streak, Volquez threw a no-hitter, right here at Marlins Park on June 3.
Volquez has a 0.41 ERA in his past three starts, allowing just three hits and striking out 18 batters in 16 innings.
Meanwhile, the A's (27-37), who are in last place in the American League West, are just 9-24 on the road this season.
Gossett, who was named Oakland's Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season by MLB Pipeline, will have a lot of pressure on him. It's not only his first start, but he also realizes his team is slumping.
The danger for Gossett is that he internalizes too much and strays away from his game. And if Volquez is putting up goose eggs on the scoreboard as he has been doing lately, that could make things even tougher for Gossett.
As for Volquez, he has experience facing Oakland. He is 3-4 with a 4.82 ERA in seven career starts against the A's, including 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA this season.
But as the entire baseball world has seen, that loss to Oakland earlier this season was before Volquez made his turnaround. He has been unstoppable the past three starts, and he will offer quite a challenge for Gossett.
Either way, though, this will be a memorable day for the rookie.