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Oakland A’s roundup: Daniel Mengden called up, Andrew Triggs injury update

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Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s continued their September call-ups on Saturday, promoting pitcher Daniel Mengden from Triple-A Nashville. The right-hander will start against the Red Sox on Saturday.

This will be Mengden’s second stint in Oakland this year. The 23-year-old made his MLB debut in June and ended up starting nine games, with mixed results. He was excellent in his first four outings (2.81 ERA), but then got shelled in his next five (9.00) — though there were some extenuating circumstances during that rough patch, like wretched defense behind him and getting hit in the chest by a line drive. Bob Melvin had this to say, via Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle:

“He really got our attention early on and we felt like when we sent him down he was just a little bit tired. They cut down on his workload and he’s been pitching great ever since.”

Melvin is right. In seven starts since returning to Nashville, Mengden posted a 2.10 ERA with a line of 30 ip, 28 Ks, 7 BB, 1 HR. The difference was that he was capped at five innings in each of those games, only once reaching 90 pitches. His overall numbers:

Mengden, AAA: 13 starts, 1.79 ERA, 75⅓ ip, 67 Ks, 17 BB, 4 HR, 3.43 FIP
Mengden, MLB: 9 starts, 5.73 ERA, 48⅔ ip, 49 Ks, 26 BB, 5 HR, 4.32 FIP

Although I would have been fine with letting Mengden finish out his season in Triple-A and come back strong in 2017, you’ve gotta be excited to see him again. In case you’ve forgotten, here are three reasons he is worth watching even in a meaningless game.

Once Mengden records his first four outs today, he will officially hit MLB rookie status and will graduate from prospect status. That means he will not be part of our Community Prospect List this winter. (Maybe I shouldn’t say that with such certainty one day after Oakland’s starter exited after only three outs ...)

Welcome back, Daniel!

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Here are a few injury updates regarding the rest of the pitching staff:

Andrew Triggs

Triggs has been a pleasant surprise over the last month, emerging as a starting pitcher just like no one expected. Unfortunately, he only lasted one inning last night before leaving the game. The diagnosis is back tightness, via Slusser.

The good news, relatively speaking, is that he doesn’t have an arm injury and it might just be a minor thing, though there is still no timetable for his return. For more details, check out Slusser’s writeup at the Chronicle.

With yet another starter going down, let’s take an updated look through Oakland’s rotation depth chart, beginning with what it looked like entering the season:

Sonny Gray (multiple DL stints, ERAitis when healthy)
Rich Hill (multiple DL stints, then traded)
Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery)
1. Kendall Graveman
Felix Doubront (Tommy John surgery)
Jesse Hahn (hit DL, banished to minors when healthy)
Eric Surkamp (lol, waived)
Sean Manaea (one DL stint, left last start with back problem)
Henderson Alvarez (still not back from 2015 surgery)
2. Daniel Mengden
Dillon Overton (healthy! but highest HR rate in MLB history)
Andrew Triggs (one DL stint, left last start with back problem)
3. Ross Detwiler
4. Zach Neal
5. Jharel Cotton?
5a. Raul Alcantara?
5b. (Hahn actually goes here now)
5c. Maybe you? What’re you up to next week?

Go home, 2016, you’re drunk.

Sean Doolittle

Doo was activated from the DL on Friday. He last pitched for the A’s on June 25.

For more on his extended recovery, including quotes from the man himself, check out Slusser’s writeup at the Chronicle.

Doolittle, 2016: 35 games, 2.93 ERA, 30⅔ ip, 35 Ks, 8 BB, 5 HR, 12-for-13 sv/hlds

Jesse Hahn

Hahn was also activated from the DL on Friday, but he did not rejoin the team. Instead, he went back to the minors, after a rough season in which he never really got going.

Those “other Triple A starters” likely include Jharel Cotton and Raul Alcantara (in addition to Mengden, of course). Both are on the 40-man roster already, so they could be called up at any time unless the team wants them to make postseason starts for Nashville.

Hahn, 2016 MLB: 9 starts, 6.02 ERA, 46⅓ ip, 23 Ks, 19 BB, 8 HR, 5.63 FIP

In brief

A few more quick updates:

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