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Elephant Rumblings: Shintaro Fujinami struggles again

Saturday’s news and notes for the A’s and the rest of Major League Baseball

Oakland Athletics v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Happy Sunday Athletics Nation!

Shintaro Fujinami started Saturday’s game as an opener and retired just two hitters before Hogan Harris was forced to enter the game early to try and clean up the mess. Fujinami retired just two hitters while allowing four hits and two runs. That snapped a six-appearance stretch where he had just allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings. He again flashed a 101 mph fastball Saturday, but the velocity hasn’t made up for a lack of movement.

Fujinami was seen as somewhat of a project when the A’s signed him this offseason, but it was hard to envision this type of struggles. For the season, Fujinami has a 10.57 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. His 5.59 FIP tells a different story, but it still not one of an effective pitcher. He has a 14.26 ERA as a starter, which also includes three appearances as an opener. He’s pitched better as a reliever, but his 7.40 ERA and 5.23 xFIP don’t instill a ton of confidence.

Fujinami’s roster spot isn’t in danger because this A’s squad is going nowhere and can afford to keep running him out there. Still, it has been somewhat shocking to see a pitcher with as good of stuff as Fujinami, struggle to the degree that he has.

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