The Athletics made some room on their roster today as four pitchers cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A:
RHP Austin Pruitt, RHP Zach Neal, RHP Yacksel Ríos, and LHP Richard Lovelady have cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Triple-A.— Oakland A's Communications (@AthleticsPR) October 4, 2023
All four of those guys pitched for the club this past season. Pruitt was probably the best of the bunch as he pitched to a sub-3 ERA in his second season with the club. Pruitt came in handy as a reliable opener for when Mark Kotsay wanted to go that route, but was also a consistent out out of the ‘pen. We should be seeing more of him in 2024.
Neal is also a familiar face to the A’s faithful. He last suited up for Oakland all the way back during the 2016-2017 seasons and has bounced around the minor leagues since then, in addition to a stint overseas in Japan. Neal wasn’t quite what the doctor ordered for this pitching staff but he should remain as decent enough pitching depth.
The other two pitchers, Rios and Lovelady, are coming off of major surgery’s that could impact their availability for spring training. Lovelady, who was a solid-if-unspectacular lefty, had his season cut short in June due to an elbow injury that required surgery. It wasn’t the dreaded Tommy John but his availability for Spring Training is in question. Same goes for Rios, who underwent surgery for Reynaud’s Syndrome, which affects the fingers. Rios only made it into three games for the club before his season ended so we haven’t seen much at all of Rios.
All four of these guys will now have to work their way back to the big leagues. Today’s moves frees up some roster space that the club will need for the long offseason ahead, but there’s every chance we could still see these guys back pitching with the club next season. Pruitt should be a priority but honestly, you can never have enough pitching.