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Elephant Rumblings: Shintaro Fujinami’s struggles continue

News and notes from Friday.

Oakland Athletics v Miami Marlins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics dropped the opener of their nine-game road trip Friday night with a 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins. The A’s struggled offensively with just five hits and struck out 15 times, but were again put in an early hole. Oakland again elected to go with an opener strategy with Shintaro Fujinami starting in front of Hogan Harris. Fujinami allowed a two-run home run to Jesus Sanchez in the first continuing his struggles in his first season in the majors.

Fujinami looks like a major league pitcher. He has a fastball that averages 97.2 mph and routinely touches triple digits. He has an excellent split finger offering, but for a multitude of reasons, the results have not been there. Fujinami has a 12.19 ERA through his first 31 innings. His 6.02 FIP suggests that he has been somewhat unfortunate, but still it isn’t like a 6+ FIP is good. He has a 14.63 ERA as a starter and a 9.60 ERA as a reliever. Remember that Friday’s performance goes under the starter column.

I’m not suggesting that Oakland cut bait the way they did with Jesus Aguilar, another offseason addition, last week. There is no questioning Fujinami’s stuff, but so far the A’s coaching staff has been unable to unlock any of that potential.

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