The Athletics, as expected, reinstated outfielder Coco Crisp from the 60-day disabled list today and elected to option Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Nashville. The A's also made the unexpected move of calling up Arnold Leon and demoting Dan Otero to Triple-A as well.
Crisp had been on the disabled list since May 20 with a cervical (neck) strain. With waiver claim Danny Valencia not arriving until Tuesday, the A's opted to option Jake Smolinski first to retain Max Muncy's services as a backup infielder if needed. Crisp will be in left field and bat second in tonight's game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Far more surprising is Oakland optioning Dan Otero to Triple-A Nashville and calling up Arnold Leon. Early season struggles brought Otero's ERA to 6.29 and he was demoted to Triple-A to work thing out. With Nashville from June 13 to July 6, Otero had a 0.59 ERA in 15⅓ innings, allowing no home runs, striking out 13, and walking just two.
Otero has been underwhelming in his return, allowing four runs in 8⅓ innings, though he has struck out eight and walked just one. Perhaps of concern is that the pitch-to-contact ground ball specialist has allowed as many ground balls as fly balls in his return to the A's (13), getting away from a key to Otero's previous success with Oakland.
Arnold Leon has bounced back and forth from Nashville to Oakland this season. This is the fifth time he has been recalled from the minors this year. Leon last pitched for the A's on July 23, allowing one run in 3⅓ innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Perhaps driving Leon to the Oakland bullpen is his conversion from starting pitcher to reliever. He has not started since May 15. At the major league level, Leon has a 3.72 ERA in 9⅔ innings, striking out 10 and walking one. Between both the A's and Nashville, Leon has a 2.12 ERA in 29⅔ innings as a reliever, compared to a 4.22 ERA in six starts.