Straily is committed to progress, not stats

PHOENIX -- Stat lines hardly tell the whole story for pitchers during Spring Training, a time they typically use to work on different aspects of their game without worrying about results.

Dan Straily very much embodies this notion, even though he's in competition for a rotation spot. The A's right-hander gave up two runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings in his second spring start against the Angels on Monday, but rather then dwell on those numbers, he walked away happy with the progress he made on inside fastballs to left-handers.

"That's kind of what [pitching coach] Curt Young and I were talking about before the game, so I can say I got a little bit better today," said Straily, who has allowed four runs and six hits this spring. "It wasn't the greatest outing, but I was working on stuff, trying to get better."

"I thought he pitched better than the numbers show," manager Bob Melvin said. "He hung a couple of pitches, maybe a couple of two-strike breaking balls he threw that got a little more plate and were up a bit, but I thought, overall, his stuff was good."

Of the six lefties he faced, only one notched a hit. That's an improvement for Straily, against whom left-handers hit .271 with a 1.047 OPS in seven starts last season. Right-handers, meanwhile, only hit .215 with a .640 OPS.

Straily also continued work on his developing curveball on Monday, but it "might be time to forget about trying stuff out and just focus on what I have," he said.

The right-hander is scheduled to make four more starts this spring.