Per a report from Martin Gallegos, the A’s plan on promoting right-hander Zach Neal to start tonight’s series opener against the Texas Rangers:
Hearing the A’s will bring up RHP Zach Neal from Triple-A to start tonight’s game.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) May 11, 2023
Formerly with the A’s from 2016-17, Neal’s last Major League appearance was ‘18 with the Dodgers. Pitched in Japan from 2019-21. Signed a Minor League deal with the A’s last month.
This is Neal’s second stint with Oakland. He made his MLB debut with the club all the way back in 2016 and was a decent piece for that team, making 24 appearances with six starts to boot in his rookie year. His next season wasn’t so smooth as he struggled and was eventually designated for assignment. He ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers but only pitched one inning for them the next year. That was his last MLB appearance.
After that Neal went overseas to Japan where he had some success and some problems. He ultimately made it back to the states with Colorado’s Triple-A team last year but did not impress, pitching 116 2⁄3 innings with an ugly 6.87 ERA. The A’s signed him to a minor league deal this spring and he’s tossed just 11 1⁄3 innings with 7 runs allowed. Not exactly inspiring numbers.
The starting pitching picture is looking bleak if they’re turning to the 34-year-old Neal right now. We don’t yet know of a corresponding roster move and this might just be a quick spot start for a banged up rotation but nonetheless it’s an opportunity for Neal to be back in the Major Leagues. The A’s sure are hoping for a successful return.