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Roster moves: A’s recall Luis Medina, option Kaprielian

Here comes another young pitching prospect

MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics Photo Day Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The roster moves continue. The Oakland A’s are calling up prospect Luis Medina to start tomorrow’s game against the Angels, which will be his MLB debut. To make room for him the club optioned James Kaprielian to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The move represents a bold and aggressive promotion for Medina. Acquired last year in the Frankie Montas trade, Medina comes with huge upside but major questions about his ability to throw strikes and control the ball. He’s only started three games at Triple-A with mixed results.

Medina will be getting an early birthday present as his 24th birthday is next week. We don’t yet know if this is just a quick cup of coffee or if he’s here to stay like Mason Miller is, but he can make the decision easy for the club with a solid start tomorrow evening. He’s only made it to four innings once this year so don’t expect an extended start from the righty.

Kaprielian has had a tough start to the year. Coincidentally, the A’s also acquired Kaprielian from the Yankees for a stud pitcher (Sonny Gray) and he was one of the more consistent pitchers for the club last year. It all fell apart for him this season though. Kap had off-season shoulder surgery that delayed his ramp up in spring training and he began the year in the IL but quickly returned. He was lit up in three starts before the team finally transitioned him to the bullpen where things didn’t get much better; he threw 2 23 innings and gave up 5 runs in three appearances. He’ll head to Triple-A and try to right the ship and force the A’s to bring him back for another shot.

The A’s pitching has been historically bad this season and the club seems more anxious than ever to get their young prospects into the big leagues and begin getting their feet wet. Medina’s upside is that of a frontline starter with his repertoire; he has a killer fastball that consistently touches 100 MPH to go along with a devastating curveball and a solid changeup. If Medina can reign in the control problems he’s had throughout his pro career he can be a mainstay atop the A’s rotation for years to come. If not then a high-leverage bullpen role awaits him, perhaps even as the closer. Both he and the club will be hoping he can thrive as a starter and the A’s seem prepared to give him a long leash to make it happen. Congrats Luis! We’ll all be rooting for you.