Yacksel Rios began 2023 in the Atlanta Braves minor league organization, but a midseason trade and immediate promotion earned him a spot in the Oakland Athletics’ bullpen. Unfortunately for him, he appeared in just three games before being diagnosed with an axillary branch aneurysm in his right shoulder that ended his season.
The A’s acquired Rios from the Braves on June 18, 2023 in exchange for cash considerations.
What were the expectations?
Acquired and promoted to the big leagues immediately, the expectation for Rios was to eat up some innings in a struggling A’s bullpen at the time.
Rios' season lasted just three outings after missing the rest of the season for Raynaud’s Syndrome - a condition in which the small arteries send reduced blood flow to end arterioles like fingers and toes. In those three outings, Rios went just 1.2 innings while surrendering six walks and seven runs, good for a 37.80 ERA.
What went right? What went wrong?
On a personal level, Rios' 2023 stint with the A’s was his first time in the big leagues since 2021 with the Boston Red Sox, which is a nice achievement. When Rios was out there, however, in his limited time, not a lot went right. He threw 46% strikes as he struggled with his walks and opponents hit .375 against him. An injury cut his season short with a 15-day and 60-day Injury List stint in late June/early July.
Rios elected free agency on October 6, and he recently won Pitcher of the Week honors in the Peninsula Winter League, which is positive to see from a recovery standpoint. The interest for a Spring Training invitation could very well be there, but Rios has played seven professional seasons for eight MLB organizations overall, so the chances are dwindling.