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A’s recall James Kaprielian, activate Aramis Garcia

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New starting pitcher tonight in Boston

2021 Spring Training: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Oakland Athletics Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s will have a new starting pitcher on the mound Wednesday at Fenway Park.

The A’s recalled James Kaprielian from Triple-A this morning, the team announced, and he’s officially scheduled to take the mound in a few hours against the Boston Red Sox.

The right-hander is the No. 7 prospect in the team’s farm system, according to our community list. Acquired in the Sonny Gray trade in 2017 amid an extremely long injury recovery, Kaprielian returned to the mound in 2019 and briefly reached Triple-A. There were no minors for him to pitch in last summer, but he did get a couple brief calls to Oakland during which he made his MLB debut and pitched twice out of the bullpen.

  • Kaprielian, 2019 minors: 3.18 ERA, 68 ip, 75 Ks, 16 BB, 8 HR, 3.88 FIP
  • Kaprielian, 2019 MLB: 3⅔ ip, 4 Ks, 2 BB, 2 HR, 4 hits

His first MLB outing was led off by a homer and a walk, but he settled down to retire the next six batters in a row. In the second outing, he entered in a bases-loaded jam and couldn’t extinguish it quickly enough, followed by a solo homer in the next inning. Statcast measured his fastball at 95.1 mph on average, and as high as 96.9 mph.

Now he’ll get his first chance to start in the majors. He got a tuneup in Triple-A last week, tossing 4⅔ innings for the Las Vegas Aviators at their hitter-paradise home ballpark and limiting the opponent to two runs, with five strikeouts and one walk.

Kaprielian’s services are needed at this moment because two members of the A’s rotation are on the injured list. Jesús Luzardo is out with a fractured hand (likely for the rest of May), and Mike Fiers is shut down for at least a couple weeks to rest his elbow, taking them from a surplus with six starters to a shortage with only four (Bassitt, Manaea, Montas, Irvin).

To make room on the active roster, reliever Jordan Weems was optioned to Triple-A. The right-hander appeared twice in his latest stint in Oakland, once working a scoreless inning and once getting knocked around. In five games this year he has a 6.23 ERA and 6.33 FIP, in a taxi-style role bouncing between MLB and Triple-A as needed.

In another move, catcher Aramis Garcia was activated from the IL, where he’d been due to a stomach flu. Fellow catcher Austin Allen was optioned to make room. Allen played two games while filling in for Garcia, going 1-for-6 with a homer.

  • Garcia: 5-for-37 (.135), 16 wRC+, 1 HR, 1 BB, 14 Ks

The switch from Allen back to Garcia means that both of Oakland's catcher's bat right-handed, between Garcia and primary backstop Sean Murphy.

Here’s the updated roster, with the injury report below.

Oakland A's 26-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Chris Bassitt (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
Frankie Montas (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
James Kaprielian (R)

IL: Jesús Luzardo (L)
IL: Mike Fiers (R)

Relievers

Lou Trivino (R)
Jake Diekman (L)
Yusmeiro Petit (R)
Sergio Romo (R)
Burch Smith (R)
Deolis Guerra (R)
Reymin Guduan (L)
Adam Kolarek (L)

IL: A.J. Puk (L)
IL: J.B. Wendelken (R)
60-IL: Trevor Rosenthal (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Aramis Garcia (R)

Infielders

1B: Matt Olson (L)
2B: Jed Lowrie (S)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Matt Chapman (R)
DH: Mitch Moreland (L)
UT: Tony Kemp (L)
UT: Vimael Machin (L)

Outfielders

Mark Canha (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Stephen Piscotty (R)
Seth Brown (L)

IL: Chad Pinder (R)

Injury report:

  • RHP Trevor Rosenthal, 60-day IL, thoracic outlet surgery (July at least)
  • RHP Mike Fiers, 10-day IL, elbow (shut down 5/8, for a couple weeks)
  • RHP J.B. Wendelken, 10-day IL, oblique (no timetable yet)
  • LHP Jesús Luzardo, 10-day IL, finger (week-to-week; end of May?)
  • LHP A.J. Puk, 10-day IL, biceps (rehab this week in Triple-A)
  • UT Chad Pinder, 10-day IL, knee (on rehab in Triple-A)
  • C Aramis Garcia, BACK IN ACTION, illness (he got better)