The Oakland A’s called up outfielder Nick Martini on Saturday, the team announced. To make room on the roster, pitcher Chris Bassitt was optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Reliever Danny Coulombe also went back down after serving as the 26th man in Friday’s doubleheader.
Martini made his MLB debut earlier in June after a long career in the minors. The left-handed batter played three games for the A’s and went 0-for-9 before heading back to Nashville. Down in Triple-A he’s reached base in his last 54 games (beginning April 14), which is a Sounds team record dating back to 1998 when they first joined the Pacific Coast League. He also had a 21-game hit streak, which finally snapped on Thursday.
Martini, 2018 AAA: .305/.421/.430, 132 wRC+, 5 HR, 16.6% BB, 19.6% Ks
As noted by Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle, this is a homecoming for Martini, who grew up in a suburb of Chicago. He’s also got a birthday coming up, as he turns 28 next week.
Heading down to make room is Bassitt. The right-hander has made three starts for the A’s this year, one good and two bad. Most recently he got knocked around by the White Sox in Friday’s nightcap, against the team who originally traded him to Oakland.
Bassitt, 2018 MLB: 3.86 ERA, 16⅓ ip, 13 Ks, 3 BB, 1 HR, 3.22 FIP
The A’s will need to figure out a plan for who will start on Tuesday, with the doubleheader skewing their normal rest schedule and presumably pushing Sean Manaea back to Wednesday. Unless someone goes on the disabled list, Bassitt will not be an option while he waits 10 days to become eligible for a recall. That said, a DL move theoretically isn’t out of the question, as Daniel Mengden exited Saturday’s game with a sprain to the same right foot that’s given him problems for years, reports Slusser. (Update: Looks like journeyman Edwin Jackson will come up next week, reports Slusser.)
In an unrelated transaction, Coulombe goes back to the minors after coming up briefly for doubleheader duty. Unfortunately he did not have a successful outing on Friday, entering with two on and one out and serving up three straight singles to allow both inherited runners to score in an eventual two-run loss. Coulombe has been the A’s only lefty reliever for the last couple months, but Slusser reports that top southpaw Ryan Buchter is scheduled to come off the DL on Monday after a lengthy stay for a shoulder problem.
All told, here is the most important part of Saturday’s news: If Nick Martini can stick on the roster until Monday then he’ll play against a Tigers lineup that also features a player named Niko Goodrum. That may be unlikely with Buchter needing a spot that day, but there could be other moving parts that allow Martini to hang around long enough. We can dream!
Stay tuned to see what happens!
Update: First MLB hit!
Just hours after joining the roster, Martini entered Saturday’s game as a pinch-hitter and notched his first MLB hit. Even better, it came in his homeland and drove in the go-ahead run in the 8th inning. Congrats Nick and have a drink on us!