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Elephant Rumblings: Kotsay announces Jared Koenig to make MLB debut

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Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics Photo by Josie Lepe/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

What a brutal week of baseball we just had! After a 1-9 homestand and two straight series sweeps at the hands of the Astros and Red Sox—the latter trouncing the A’s all weekend to put a damper on all the fanfare surrounding the 50th anniversary of Oakland’s first World Series championship—it’s nice to have Monday off to lick our wounds. If there is solace to be found in this moment, surely we must look to the future to see it.

We may be getting another glimpse of the A’s future this week, as Mark Kotsay announced in a pregame news conference on Sunday that Las Vegas Aviators starter Jared Koenig will be called up for his MLB debut on Wednesday against Matt Olson and the Atlanta Braves.

Per Steve Kroner at The San Francisco Chronicle, 28-year-old Koenig will be filling the number five spot in the A’s rotation, vacant since Zach Logue was optioned to AAA on May 29.

After a few seasons in independent ball, Koenig signed with the A’s and made his minor-league debut in 2021 with AA affiliates the Midland Rockhounds, where he posted solid numbers in 24 appearances:

  • Koenig, 2021 AA: 3.26 ERA, 121⅓ ip, 100 Ks, 43 BB, 14 HR, 4.57 FIP

The Cal State Monterey alumnus was promoted to AAA Las Vegas ahead of 2022 and has shown continued improvement:

  • Koenig, 2022 AAA: 2.21 ERA, 53 ip, 61 Ks, 15 BB, 4 HR, 3.43 FIP

Per Melissa Lockard, who wrote a great story for The Athletic last month on Koenig’s long journey to the bigs, the 6’ 5”, 235 pound southpaw doesn’t dazzle with velocity. He leans heavily on a fastball that reaches a respectable 93 mph, but he’s also adept at changing the speed of his pitches. Koenig complements his fastball with cutters, curves, and changeups.

Koenig’s pitching coach Steve Connelly told Lockard that his pupil “has an incredible feel for the game and he reads hitters and situations and he just knows what he wants to do.”

Athletics Nation welcomes Jared Koenig to Oakland! Please give us something to smile about this week!

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