Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Welp, that’s a wrap for Paul Blackburn in 2022. Following a string of rough starts and landing on the IL with finger discomfort, the A’s have decided it best to shut down their lone All-Star for the remainder of the season.
Paul Blackburn will be shut down for the rest of the season after seeing a specialist about inflammation in the middle finger of his pitching hand, Mark Kotsay said.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) August 16, 2022
Paul has a torn tendon in his right hand per trainer Nick Paparesta, but the A’s are hoping that a long spell of rest and recovery will set the right-hander straight without the need for surgery.
Per A's trainer Nick Paparesta: Paul Blackburn has a tear of the flexor tendon sheath in his right middle finger. He will wear a splint for the next six weeks and be re-evaluated after three. The hope at this point is surgery won’t be necessary.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) August 16, 2022
This is another disappointing development in what began as a dramatic breakout season for Blackburn. Through the first three months of the season, his numbers were All-Star caliber:
- Blackburn, through July 2: 2.90 ERA, 87 IP, 67 Ks, 22 BB, 7 HR, 3.48 FIP, 3.66 xFIP
Unfortunately, Blackburn has been positively shellacked in five starts since then, dating back to just before his All-Star appearance.
- Blackburn, since July 8: 9.25 ERA, 24⅓ IP, 22 Ks, 8 BB, 8 HR, 6.81 FIP, 4.72 xFIP
That rough stretch ballooned Blackburn’s ERA all the way from 2.90 to 4.28 in a hurry, and he won’t have a chance to get back in the groove until next year.
So what happened? Did Blackburn simply regress after a streak of good luck? Or is he just not up to a full season in the starting rotation—manifested by declining performance and injury?
Blackburn made some tangible adjustments this season, such as with his curveball grip and his increased usage of the pitch. He also pitched 111⅓ big league innings in 2022, way more than in any of his five previous seasons and nearly half his career total. So it’s plausible that Blackburn really has upped his game in a meaningful way but never built the endurance to handle a full season workload.
Here’s wishing Paul Blackburn a full recovery so he can get back to dealing for the A’s in 2023!
- Ashford: Game #117: A’s snap skid, beat Rangers 5-1
- Schmidt: A’s Roster Moves: Langeliers called up, Piscotty released
- Adams: A’s Shut Paul Blackburn Down For Rest Of Season
- Akers: A’s in Vegas furthering ballpark talks with casino magnate
- Kawahara: Stephen Piscotty, released by A’s, thankful for trade that brought him home ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Passan: Pittsburgh Pirates’ Rodolfo Castro suspended one game for having cellphone in pocket
- Mooney: Cubs look to the future with pitching robot machines ($)
- Adams: Braves, Michael Harris II In Talks On Contract Extension
- Adams: Mets To Promote Top Prospect Brett Baty
- Franco: Rangers Sign Wilson Ramos To Minor League Deal
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Piscotty on his release.
Stephen Piscotty, via text, on his time with the A’s and says he has “definitely not played my last baseball game”: pic.twitter.com/Ftnx10Z1Zl— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) August 16, 2022
Thanks to everyone working to find a cure for ALS.
We lost my mother-in-law to ALS a few months ago and I am grateful to the Piscotty family for their work in helping to hopefully find a cure to a real horrible disease. I wish him only the best in the future and hope to see him on a big league team again soon.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) August 16, 2022
Wishing Eric Kubota a speedy recovery!
Hey A’s fans! Eric Kubota, Director of Scouting for the @athletics was diagnosed with leukemia in May. He’s been getting chemo & also blood & platelets from donors. In remission, but has more to do. Here’s a link to a virtual blood drive in his name: https://t.co/9LHJg3btUD— David Beach (@beachOAK) August 16, 2022
Forst on Shea.
David Forst on Shea Langeliers: pic.twitter.com/S585kGK2RX— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 16, 2022
A'S RECENT MOVES: OF Stephen Piscotty released, OF Ramon Laureano to IL, C Shea Langeliers & 1B David MacKinnon to A's, RHPs Brent Honeywell & Nolan Long to STK on rehab, RHP David McKay to LV IL, LHP Hogan Harris to LV, LHP Austin Briggs off MID IL... https://t.co/joKXkzbDRy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) August 16, 2022
How about future TOR starter?
A.J. Puk has turned his career trajectory around in 2022. He's got a 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 53/12 K/BB ratio in 48.2 IP. Closer of the future?— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) August 17, 2022
Humans need not apply?