Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Prior to the 2021 season, Paul Blackburn was designated for assignment after struggling with injuries and inconsistent performance for four years. He cleared waivers and stayed with the A’s organization, and then was called up to replace Chris Bassitt after The Hound’s terrible injury last August. The A’s went into freefall around that time; they fell out of playoff contention and Blackburn continued to struggle, posting a 5.87 ERA in nine starts as the Chapman-Olson core played out its final days in Oakland.
All told, there was little reason to expect much from Blackburn after five seasons of bouncing between the minor and major leagues.
- Blackburn, MLB 2017-21: 5.74 ERA, 138 ip, 77 Ks, 38 BB, 18 HR, 4.70 FIP
But lo and behold, Blackburn took advantage of the void left by the departures of Bassitt and Sean Manaea last offseason. He took the fourth spot in the 2022 rotation and demonstrated huge improvements right out of the gate. Two-plus months into the season, Blackburn’s line remains impressive.
- Blackburn, 2022: 2.31 ERA, 66⅓ ip, 47 Ks, 15 BB, 3 HR, 3.13 FIP
Blackburn doesn’t have stuff like Frankie Montas, but he’s getting comparably good results. Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors pondered the prospects of a Blackburn move as the trade deadline approaches.
Adams cites some good reasons to think that Blackburn’s improvements aren’t just a fluke. He doesn’t throw high octane, but his velocity has increased a tick over recent seasons. His K rate is low, but so is his walk rate. He continues to induce a lot of groundballs and weak contact, and his Statcast “barrel” rate is less than half the league average.
The 28-year-old righty remains under control for three more years after this season, so he might be a good option for the A’s to keep around as a reliable mainstay of the rebuilding club’s rotation. But controllable pitching is precious to contending teams, and if the price is right, the A’s front office might consider a deal.
What say ye, AN? Will Paul Blackburn still be wearing green and gold at the end of this season? What kind of return would you accept at the trade deadline if he maintains his current level of performance? Let us know in the comments below!
- Ashford: Game #63: A’s struggles continue in 6-1 loss in Boston
- Hall: A’s roster moves: Jonah Bride called up, Kevin Smith sent down
- Adams: The Other Potential Trade Candidate In The Athletics’ Rotation
- He: NSFW Draymond chant reaches A’s-Red Sox game at Fenway
MLB News & Interest:
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- Stark: Buck Showalter speaks: On the Mets’ mojo, Francisco Lindor and taking it all in ($)
- Slusser: Short-lived T-shirts cause more friction between Giants’ Joc Pederson, Reds’ Tommy Pham ($)
- Franco: Latest On Fernando Tatis Jr.
- Franco: Hyun Jin Ryu To Undergo Elbow Surgery, Will Miss Rest Of Season
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Melissa Lockard likes the Bride callup.
"He's a good move for this clubhouse"@melissalockard was on A's Cast Live to discuss Jonah Bride's MLB debut and the A's Farm system!— A's Cast (@athleticscast24) June 15, 2022
: https://t.co/rhnep0MsAH pic.twitter.com/GsbBAE3Gqs
That sounds extremely invasive! Get to healing, DJ!
Per A’s trainer Nick Paparesta: Daulton Jefferies had thoracic outlet surgery yesterday, including removal of his first rib. Likely four months before he would resume throwing, which rules out a potential return this season.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) June 14, 2022
Smith clicks quickly in Vegas.
Kevin Smith went 4-5 with 2 RBI in his first game for Las Vegas. Sheldon Neuse hit his 3rd HR.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 15, 2022
Fine work by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler..(catches breath)..in the booth today!
Casey Pratt laid out a fairly swift timeline of potential developments today, culminating with City approval of the Howard Terminal project in September if all goes well.
Interesting. Debbie Kern, presenting on behalf of the company doing the independent financial analysis, said the city is targeting the approval of the project by 9/20. Key piece of the timeline emerges. #BindingVoteSZN pic.twitter.com/yetdNAB5MX— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) June 14, 2022
Roster moves. ┏(・o･)┛
A'S RECENT MOVES: 3B-C Jonah Bride to A’s, IF Kevin Smith to LV, RHPs Jack Cushing & Garrett Acton to LV, RHP Jeff Criswell, LHP Hogan Harris & OF Austin Beck to MID, RHP Charles Hall & OF Denzel Clarke to LAN, RHP Alexis Cedano on STK IL… https://t.co/joKXkzbDRy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) June 14, 2022
May we see some Acton in Oakland soon?
Jack Cushing and Garrett Acton have been Midland’s most consistent starter and reliever this season. I just talked about Acton on A’s Cast. Don’t be surprised if he is in Oakland soon. https://t.co/CsG3OEKaJg— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) June 14, 2022
Update on pitch clocks
The pitch clock is a big success on an experimental basis in the minors. Games w/o pitch timers r averaging 2:59, games w/pitch timers 2:35, MLB is reporting now at the owners meetings. There’s been only 0.6 violations per game. MLB hopes to implement clocks in majors next year.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 14, 2022