The Oakland A’s made an expected roster move on Wednesday, calling up veteran left-hander Ross Detwiler to start against the Orioles on Wednesday. In order to make that move they needed to add Detwiler to both the 40-man and 25-man rosters, and they achieved both ends by designating reliever Patrick Schuster for assignment.
The 30-year-old Detwiler spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him No. 6 overall in 2007 (that’s the same slot the A’s used on phenom A.J. Puk this summer). He generally served as a swingman for Washington, starting around half of his games for the team during those years and clocking in around league-average overall — his best year came in 2012 when he made 27 starts for a 98-win club and posted a 3.40 ERA (118 ERA+). The Nats dealt him after 2014 and he’s bounced around the league since, with brief stints in Texas, Atlanta, and Cleveland over the last two seasons. He came to Oakland in July in exchange for cash considerations, and in four games for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds he has totals of 23⅓ ip, 24 Ks, 4 BB.
Let’s be honest, though. Detwiler is a warm body here to make an emergency spot start. Sonny Gray and Jesse Hahn are on the DL, Rich Hill was traded, and Dillon Overton isn’t ready for the bigs. There are other exciting prospects we might see as the summer drags on, but for today the timing was such that the A’s needed a sacrificial lamb. If something crazy happens and Detwiler turns into Oakland’s next diamond in the rough, then great, but that’s not the expectation to carry into this one. If you need a goal to aim for, maybe he can be slightly better than Eric Surkamp.
Detwiler, 2015-16: 7.14 ERA, 63 ip, 44 Ks, 40 BB, 11 HR, 6.20 FIP
Meanwhile, Schuster is out of the picture for the moment. The 25-year-old lefty made five appearances out of Oakland’s pen this year, including his MLB debut, but he was torched for multiple runs on two occasions and generally struggled with walks. However, his usage was tailored more toward soaking up extra outs to bail out the team, rather than putting him in a position to personally succeed. Down in Triple-A his numbers have been excellent, and he hasn’t allowed a homer all year.
Perhaps Schuster would do better in a shorter LOOGY role where he could specialize against lefties with his somewhat sidearm-ish southpaw delivery. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see the result of his DFA over the next week or so -- he could be traded or lost on waivers, or he could wind up right back in Nashville.
Schuster, 2016 MLB: 10.80 ERA, 6⅔ ip, 6 Ks, 6 BB, 0 HR, 4.03 FIP
Schuster, 2016 AAA: 1.16 ERA, 38⅔ ip, 39 Ks, 12 BB, 0 HR, 2.82 FIP
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