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A’s roster moves: Sam Moll activated from COVID list

That was quick!

Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

The Oakland A’s latest use of the COVID-19 related injured list proved to be a short one.

The A’s activated reliever Sam Moll from the COVID list on Thursday, the team announced.

The left-hander last pitched on Sunday, then was placed on the IL on Tuesday. From that point it apparently only took two days for him to clear health protocols and rejoin the team.

Players can be put on the COVID list for a variety of reasons, including a positive test, or just showing symptoms, or close contact with somebody who’s sick. However, they must test negative multiple times at least 24 hours apart in order to be activated.

On top of the good health news, the rapid return of Moll is a boon for the struggling Oakland roster. The southpaw has been arguably their best reliever this year, leading the bullpen in ERA and sporting the second-best FIP thanks in part to a dominant slider. With the worst record in the majors, the A’s can use all the help they can get right now.

  • Moll: 1.27 ERA, 21⅓ ip, 29 Ks, 13 BB, 2.99 FIP

Statcast loves his work, giving him an excellent .257 xwOBA and praising the weak contact he induces. On top of all those sparkling numbers, the southpaw has also converted six out of seven hold attempts.

While Moll was out of action he was replaced by reliever Domingo Tapia as a COVID substitute, so Tapia was sent back to the minors now that Moll is back. The official transaction is that Tapia was “returned” to Triple-A Las Vegas, not optioned, because the move happens under a special set of pandemic rules so it doesn’t count as one of Tapia’s five options for the season. (I think he’s used one so far? The clock started May 2 so any options before then don’t count toward the limit.)

Tapia pitched once while he was here this week, making a long relief appearance Wednesday night with Oakland already trailing big. The right-hander worked 2⅓ innings of mopup duty and let two inherited runners score, plus was charged with two more runs of his own, while throwing 56 pitches to help take some load off the rest of the bullpen. He’ll remain available in Vegas for future callups.

Here’s the updated roster.

Oakland A's 26-man roster
Pitchers Hitters
Starters

Frankie Montas (R)
Paul Blackburn (R)
Cole Irvin (L)
James Kaprielian (R)
Jared Koenig (L)

60-IL: Daulton Jefferies (R)
60-IL: Brent Honeywell (R)


Relievers

Domingo Acevedo (R)
Zach Jackson (R)
Sam Moll (L)
Adam Oller (R)
Austin Pruitt (R)
A.J. Puk (L)
Kirby Snead (L)
Lou Trivino (R)

IL: Dany Jimenez (R)
60-IL: Deolis Guerra (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)

Infielders

1B: Christian Bethancourt (R)
2B: Tony Kemp (L)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Sheldon Neuse (R)
UT: Nick Allen (R)
UT: Jonah Bride (R)
DH: Jed Lowrie (S)

Outfielders

Seth Brown (L)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Cristian Pache (R)
Chad Pinder (R)

IL: Stephen Piscotty (R)
60-IL: Skye Bolt (S)