The wait is over and the 2023 MLB season is officially here for the Oakland Athletics who will host the Los Angeles Angels Thursday night at the Coliseum. Kyle Muller will make his Oakland debut against perennial MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani.
The A’s acquired Muller from the Atlanta Braves in a three-team trade that also included the Milwaukee Brewers. He was expected to come in and compete for a rotation spot, but was pressed into duty on Opening Day after injuries to Paul Blackburn and Drew Rucinski put Oakland’s rotation in flux. Muller showed flashes during his spring performance, but it was marked with inconsistency and the overall numbers weren’t pretty. Thursday will provide a reset and a good outing could further cement his status in the rotation going forward.
Oakland will obviously have their hands full with Ohtani who made just one spring start before heading off to compete in the World Baseball Classic. Interestingly enough, that start came against Oakland where he allowed just two walks and struck out two over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Ohtani took another step forward as a pitcher in 2022 and put together the best season on the mound in his brief major league career. He posted a 2.33 ERA and a 2.40 FIP in a career-high 166 innings while pushing his strikeout rate to 33.2%. Ohtani has made 10 career starts against Oakland where he has a 2.50 ERA to go along with 69 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings.
The A’s officially set their Opening Day roster Thursday morning with no real surprises. The team did recall right-hander Adrian Martinez to give them another multi-inning option that could pitch out of the bullpen or make a start if needed. The team also selected the contract of Carlos Perez who was a late addition to camp and will serve as the backup to Shea Langeliers. Manny Piña was placed on the 10-day injured list due to lingering soreness in his wrist.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Thursday and the game can be seen on NBCCSA and MLB Network.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 30, 7:07 pm PDT
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California
TV: NBCCSA, MLB Network
Radio: A’s Cast, KIQI 1010, Bloomberg 960 AM / 103.7 HD2