Welcome to Tuesday, AN!
We got a late Monday update on the pitching plan for the series opener today against the Cleveland Guardians:
Ken Waldichuk will open tomorrow night’s game in Cleveland for the A’s. Luis Medina will follow out of the bullpen.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) June 20, 2023
This seemingly confirms that Waldichuk is a member of the bullpen for the time being. His last five appearances have all been short relief appearances/openings, with his longest outing during this stretch being the 3-inning save he collected last week against the Rays.
It’s not how he or the team hoped he would perform this season. After being acquired for Frankie Montas at the Trade Deadline last year, Waldichuk was considered among the cream of the crop in the Oakland farm system. He made his debut in the final month of the season and pitched well, showing encouraging signs and demonstrating why the A’s made him the headliner in the trade that brought him here.
The A’s starting rotation picture in spring was pretty open but it was always assumed from Day 1 that Waldichuk had a leg up on a rotation spot. That turned out to be the case as he was among the Opening Day starting five and received the start for the third game of the year.
As encouraging as last year’s cup of coffee was, this season has been the exact opposite. In 10 starts this year, Waldichuk has a 6.89 ERA over just 47 innings. In fact, he’s only had one scoreless starting appearance all season. This isn’t what the team was expecting when they gave him a starting job in camp.
The move to the bullpen doesn’t look much better on paper as he’s sporting a 5.68 ERA down there. That being said, he does at least look better coming out of the bullpen. His best performance this season was that 3-inning save he nailed down.
Tomorrow figures to be another quick inning for Waldichuk before he gives way to Medina, who has also struggled this year. You never know though; if Waldichuk comes out looking good, Mark Kotsay might try to squeeze an extra inning or two out of him. The young left-hander is certain to get another shot at starting for the club down the road but for now, rebuilding his confidence with nice quick bursts out of the bullpen might just be what the doctor ordered for someone the team is expecting big things out of moving forward.
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Best of Twitter:
Some updates from the minors:
ICYMI from last week...— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) June 20, 2023
Who are the A’s most-advanced prospects by age?
Find out all about the progress of Henry Bolte, Max Muncy, Tyler Soderstrom, Jordan Diaz, Zack Gelof & more here... https://t.co/0irenJavWQ
Bob Melvin gives his thoughts on the A's potential move to Las Vegas pic.twitter.com/0tHOQBEArU— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 20, 2023
Always loved that man:
“You’re talking about one of the largest markets in baseball (Bay Area). It gets perceived as a small market team, but it’s only a small market because of what the team is willing to put out there...you can only see your favorite player traded so many times.”— Vitamin Dee (@2Legit2QuitDee) June 19, 2023
For those who missed out on the shirts:
The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The “SELL” tee is now being sold by @Oaklandish and trust us, they do a better job in their website and especially SHIPPING. So get yours and support this bigger than baseball movement. #Sell #FisherOut https://t.co/6KU9x1sbDN— Oakland 68s (@Oakland68s) June 19, 2023
Manfred is a troll. That's by design so you'll get mad at him and not the MLB owners he works for. A's president Dave Kaval is a troll. That's also by design so you'll get mad at him and not John Fisher. It's a soulless job but apparently somebody's gotta do it. https://t.co/ifYAD7TW3f— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) June 19, 2023