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A’s roster moves: Jared Koenig called up for debut start

New pitcher!

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Photo provided by Oakland A’s

The rebuilding Oakland A’s have a new prospect ready to try out!

The A’s called up pitcher Jared Koenig on Wednesday. The left-hander will make his MLB debut this evening, starting the road game against the Atlanta Braves.

Oakland has a reputation for unearthing hidden gems, and Koenig is the latest example. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2014 but went unsigned, so he stuck in college for a while, then played independent ball for a few years, and spent some time in the Australian League. He signed with the A’s in 2020, waited through the pandemic, and finally made his minor league debut last summer, at age 27.

He performed well in Double-A that year, and kicked it up a notch in Triple-A this season, posting sparkling numbers in hitter-friendly Las Vegas.

  • Koenig, 2021 AA: 3.26 ERA, 121⅓ ip, 100 Ks, 43 BB, 14 HR, 4.57 FIP
  • Koenig, 2022 AAA: 2.21 ERA, 53 ip, 61 Ks, 15 BB, 4 HR, 3.42 FIP

His meteoric rise now takes him to the majors, just 13 months after his first appearance in the minors. For an idea of how quickly he’s burst onto the scene, he wasn’t even listed in A’s Top 30 prospect list released by MLB Pipeline over the winter.

In terms of stuff, Koenig’s arsenal is led by various versions of his fastball. He can dial it up as high as 95 mph but maximizes its effect by changing speeds, to such a degree that pitch-tracking data sometimes struggles to identify what type of pitch he threw. In addition to his two-seamer and four-seamer, he has a cutter that operates similar to a slider, as well as a curveball and a changeup. Click here for the full scouting report by Melissa Lockard of The Athletic, and click here for a profile that she wrote about him last month.

Two corresponding moves were made in order to call up Koenig.

To open a spot on the 40-man roster, reliever Gabe Klobosits was designated for assignment. The right-hander was claimed off waivers from the Nationals in April but got knocked around in 11 games for Triple-A Las Vegas, and now he’ll hit the waiver wire again. We’ll find out in the next few days whether he’s claimed by another team, or clears the process and perhaps sticks around in the A’s organization.

To make room on the active 26-man roster, reliever Domingo Tapia was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. The right-hander was called up at the end of May and pitched in two games for Oakland, once tossing a perfect inning and once getting lit up for four runs while recording just one out.

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

CL: Dany Jimenez (R)
Domingo Acevedo (R)
Zach Jackson (R)
Sam Moll (L)
Austin Pruitt (R)
A.J. Puk (L)
Sam Selman (L)
Lou Trivino (R)

60-IL: Deolis Guerra (R)
Catchers

Sean Murphy (R)
Christian Bethancourt (R)
Stephen Vogt (L)

Infielders

1B: Seth Brown (L)
2B: Tony Kemp (L)
SS: Elvis Andrus (R)
3B: Kevin Smith (R)
3B: Matt Davidson (R)
DH: Jed Lowrie (S)

Outfielders

Chad Pinder (R)
Cristian Pache (R)
Ramon Laureano (R)
Luis Barrera (L)

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