Sonny Gray got the job that just about everyone but Sonny Gray expected him to get when A’s manager Bob Melvin named him the opening day starter.
Gray will be followed in the rotation by Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, Dan Straily and Tommy Milone.
The opening day start was expected originally to go to Jarrod Parker, but the competition opened up when it was learned that Parker will miss the season and undergo tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery.
Even with Parker, Gray was considered a contender for the opening day assignment by manager Bob Melvin, who isn’t afraid of putting the 24-year-old in the spotlight.
Last year in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, Melvin went with Gray over 18-game winner Bartolo Colon, and while the A’s lost that game, it wasn’t because Gray didn’t pitch well.
“He’s very quickly become one of those guys,’’ Melvin said of Gray, who was 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA after his promotion to the big leagues last year and then pitched eight shutout innings in Game 2 of the playoffs against Detroit before taking the 3-0 loss in Game 5.