The Oakland Athletics claimed the 1,333rd selection of the 2009 MLB Draft from the Chicago White Sox today in right-handed reliever Taylor Thompson. Thompson, 27, made his Major League debut on July 20, 2014, though was up for only a limited time before being returned to Triple-A Charlotte. The 44th round selection's career minor league statistics from Baseball Reference:
|Taylor Thompson, Minor League Statistics (sorted by level)|
Outside of a brief promotion to Triple-A in 2013, Anderson appears to have mastered every level of the minor leagues. His 2014 with Triple-A Charlotte showed enormous improvement, striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings pitched, though he did walk 4.4 per nine.
Thompson is sporting a reinvigorated splitter, as J.J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago reported upon Thompson's call-up in July ("Taylor Thompson 'speechless' at opportunity with White Sox" July 20, 2014):
Thompson started throwing his splitter again this year, and after some early hiccups has had plenty of success with it.
Thompson features a fastball-splitter-slider arsenal, but more importantly the White Sox view him as a someone who consistently throws strikes. For a bullpen that's had control issues, Thompson's addition - so long as he keeps getting the ball over the plate - is a welcome one.
"He's the best guy pitching down there right now," [White Sox] manager Robin Ventura said. "He throws strikes, has been closing for them a lot down there. You are going with the hot hand."
Thompson has two option years remaining, which allows the A's flexibility after spring training in the bullpen competition. The earliest he could be eligible for free agency is 2021.
Bryan Anderson outrighted
The Athletics outrighted catcher Bryan Anderson to Triple-A Nashville. As a previously outrighted player, Anderson had the choice to elect free agency upon his outright assignment. Anderson had been the A's third catcher while John Jaso was out due to concussion and Stephen Vogt was unable to catch due to a foot injury.
Players on the 60-day disabled list had to be reinstated today and now count against Oakland's 40-man roster. As a result, Kyle Blanks, A.J. Griffin, and Jarrod Parker bring the 40-man roster up to 38 players.