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Fatrolf’s Sunday Sketches: Tanner Roark Loves Arby’s Edition

And, A’s Scout Social Media Superstar

No matter how many times it’s been said, it’s still an iconic moment in A’s baseball: Tanner Roark found out he was traded while in an Arby’s parking lot.

Roark was picked up prior to the trade deadline to give our rotation some more zazz. We received Roark from Cincinnati for outfield prospect Jameson Hannah. Roark roars in with six and a half years of MLB service, an 8.8 K/9 and an ERA of 4.24. While he won’t be battling with Fiers for the top position, he’s a veteran guy with solid stats who barely misses any starts and gets the seal of approval from former teammate Sonny Gray. He’s basically exactly what we needed at a great price, even if he’ll need to drive a little further out to get his Arby’s fix.

Blake Treinen has finally started to look like our Blake Treinen from last season. In his last seven outings, Treinen has totally shut out opponents. In the past 6.1 innings, he has struck out seven batters and picked up four wins while only giving up four hits. Prior to that, Treinen’s ERA sat at a dismal 4.54. Happy Teinen, happy life...en.

There have been a flurry of moves this week, so I’ll keep it brief. Ramón Laureano and Josh Phegley were placed on the 10-day DL (retroactive to July 29th), Stephen Piscotty returned from the 10-day DL. Ryan Dull was DFA’d, so was Brian Schlitter, but Schlitter stayed in the organization. Andrew Triggs was released, so was Nick Hundley. Daniel Mengden and Franklin Barreto moved down to AAA. On top of All That Hullabaloo, Jharel Cotton has returned from TJ rehab, but he’s still in the minors. Tanner Roark and Jake Diekman have been added.

Catcher Dustin Garneau was snagged off of waivers from the Angels. Garneau is from Torrence, CA, attended Cal State Fullerton and is about to turn 32 on August 13th. He hit .232 for the Angels this season and popped two dingers in his 28 games.

In a move more exciting than the addition of Garneau — sorry, Garneau — the A’s just signed Rockies Stadium Speed Pitch Challenge King, Nathan Patterson, to a minor league deal. If you needed a new favorite prospect to track, here you are, you just found him.

The pitch most people know about is the one at the Rockies stadium. (You’ve heard of the shot heard ‘round the world? Get ready for... the speed pitch heard ‘round the world!) However, there was another pitch, a pitch before the famous pitch. It was the one that changed the course of Nathan’s life forever.

It was a year ago in Nashville — when they were still the A’s AAA affiliate — Nathan Patterson decided to take a shot at the speed pitch challenge at the park. It was totally for fun, Patterson hadn’t thrown a baseball in “a few years”, having given up playing seriously senior year of high school. To his surprise, when he threw the pitch, the radar gun popped up at 96 mph.

This is the scenario we have all played out in our heads, but in reality we pray our pitches will even make it up to the Eephus range.

Something sparked in Patterson, and he embarked on a training journey — cue the music. He was going to pursue a professional career. Which is all great, unless you get hit by a car six months later and have to have surgery on your left wrist. Oops!

Inexplicably, the 23-year-old Patterson bounced back again. Cast off, and it was back to the training grind. In fact, Patterson’s near-tragedy rings a similar note to A’s current ace, Mike Fiers, who almost lost his baseball — and his life — to a car wreck prior to his professional career.

One of Patterson’s coaches and cheering squad is former Oakland A’s star, Jarrod Parker. Parker, now retired and manager of Parker Sports Performance, awed by Patterson’s Nashville pitch, stepped in to offer some guidance and encouragement. Around the same time, the A’s reached out to Patterson for the first time.

And that is what led up to the Rockies Stadium pitch we’ve all heard about.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, Patterson has a cute dog.

Sean Manaea made improvements in his latest rehab stint on Tuesday, and could return to a big league mound soon if things continue to go well.

The A’s have won five of their last six on the coattails of Mike Fiers’ tenth W. A hot streak is exactly what the A’s need as they battle for a spot in the postseason. Tomorrow caps the two-game interleague set against the Cardinals before the A’s head off on the road ... for more interleague play, in a three-game series against the Cubs.