Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
I tuned into Wednesday night’s game in the bottom of the seventh, and I hate to be negative, but I had little faith that the A’s would be able to hang on for the win. What ensued was a painful exhibition of one seriously troubled bullpen. Zach Jackson lost an epic battle with AJ Pollock to blow the save in the ninth, and then the Mariners buried the A’s in the tenth, a hapless and out of control Adam Oller hung out to dry in front of a crowd too small to drown out a lone heckler that was as audible as the broadcast team. It was truly one of the most brutally dispiriting moments I’ve witnessed in televised sports.
Per Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle, Jackson’s blown save marked the fourth straight game in which the A’s bullpen failed to capitalize on a save opportunity. The A’s front office went into damage control the next day with a significant reshuffling of the bullpen.
Three relievers were demoted: Jeurys Familia and Domingo Acevedo were designated for assignment, while Oller was optioned to Triple-A. Familia, a once-solid closer for the Mets, seemed like a questionable offseason pickup given that he hasn’t pitched well since 2018. But Acevedo getting DFA’d is a bit more surprising and disappointing a development, as he was an anchor for the A’s bullpen last season. His time in Oakland may be over if he winds up being traded or claimed off waivers.
Three righties were called up as reinforcements: Rico Garcia, Spencer Patton, and Austin Pruitt. We saw a good deal of Pruitt with the A’s in 2022; he went 55⅓ innings with the A’s, posting an ERA+ of 88 and an FIP of 4.87. He’s fared well in Triple-A this season, posting a 2.30 ERA in 10 appearances. He pitched an inning in relief of Drew Rucinski yesterday and was charged with no runs despite walking two. Patton and Garcia are less familiar faces, but they both pitched scoreless innings Thursday, with only Garcia allowing one baserunner between them.
That’s not a bad start for this new trio of relief arms. Hopefully they will help the beleaguered A’s bullpen improve—the bar is set low, as the Oakland bullpen entered yesterday’s game with a league-worst 7.07 ERA. Something has got to give, folks.
- Hardin: A’s fall to Mariners, 5-3
- Willis: A’s add Rico Garcia, Spencer Patton and Austin Pruitt to active roster
- Toster: Oakland A’s Players of the Month: April
- Kawahara: A’s shake up spiraling bullpen amid franchise-worst start ($)
- Gallegos: Former top prospect rediscovers swing with foam ball routine
- McDonald: Athletics Release Kevin Cron
- Martin: Vogt shares emotions about A’s potential move to Las Vegas
MLB News & Interest:
- Adams: Mariners Release Tommy La Stella
- Brisbee: Back to the baseball future of rule changes: Mercy rule? Raising strike zone? Reset the lineup? ($)
- MLB.com: Who made the latest Starting Pitcher Power Rankings?
- Callis: First 2023 mock draft: Expert predicts Round 1 picks
- Berry: Rays (26-6!) doing something not seen since ‘84 Tigers
- Adams: Mets Sign Dominic Leone, Activate Justin Verlander
- Weaver and Rosenthal: Max Scherzer’s rough return to the Mets, and the Braves are unbothered by setbacks ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
A’S RECENT MOVES: A’s RHPs Domingo Acevedo & Jeurys Familia DFA’d, RHP Adam Oller & OF Conner Capel to LV, RHPs Austin Pruitt, Rico Garcia & Spencer Patton & OF JJ Bleday to A’s, RHPs J.T. Ginn, Brian Howard, Trayson Kubo & Jasseel De La Cruz to MID IL…https://t.co/joKXkyUAPy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) May 4, 2023
May on pause.
Trevor May (15-day IL, anxiety-related issues) is “in a pause right now” after pitching in a Triple-A game Tuesday, Mark Kotsay said. “From a standpoint of going forward, I don’t have anything more for you.”— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) May 4, 2023
Silver linings (?)
I think attendance posts are dumb but it should be noted the A’s outdrew the Rays, Royals and Marlins today despite (*waves hands*) everything.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) May 5, 2023
A’s getting sympathy and respect for the great 70s dynasty in this NBA broadcast.
Martinez native Jeff Van Gundy speaking out for the A's during Game 2 of the Lakers/Warriors series. pic.twitter.com/gFdPvLWRQ0— Casey Pratt (@CaseyPrattABC7) May 5, 2023