The Athletics made a change to their pitching staff today, calling up left-handed reliever Sean Newcomb from Triple-A while sending down Hogan Harris to Vegas:
The A’s have selected LHP Sean Newcomb and optioned LHP Hogan Harris to Las Vegas. Additionally, LHP Richard Lovelady has been transferred to the 60-day injured list.— Oakland A's Communications (@AthleticsPR) August 23, 2023
Only recently acquired in a minor trade with the cross-bay Giants, Newcomb is a veteran of six big-league years, all in the NL. He started his career as a starter for the Atlanta Braves but shifted to the bullpen almost exclusively after two seasons as a starter. The move to the ‘pen looked to be a smart move as he thrived in his first full season coming out in relief but things went south fast.
A few tough years rounded out his time in Atlanta before he was designated for assignment and traded to the Chicago Cubs for Jesse Chavez (yes, that Jesse Chavez) in 2022. The change of scenery didn’t help as Newcomb had an ERA north of 9 in 17 relief outings for the Cubs. They elected not to bring him back.
Newcomb then signed a minor-league deal with San Francisco in the offseason and has been pitching in relief for Sacramento all season. He’s done well for the Rivercats as he’s tossed 34 1⁄3 innings with a 3.15 ERA. Walks have been a bit of a problem for him but he’s been striking out more than his fair share of batters as well. The A’s acquired him for fellow Triple-A player Trenton Brooks, an outfielder who was clearly blocked in Oakland. Newcomb will now get his first crack at major-league hitters here in 2023.
Newcomb will provide a lefty relief option to replace Harris, who now returns to Triple-A after pitching 3 2⁄3 innings in last night’s win. Harris was not especially sharp in that outing as he yielded four runs to a weak Royals lineup, and he now goes back to Vegas. He’ll serve as pitching depth until a likely recall at the end of the month when rosters expand.
To make room on the 40-man roster the club moved fellow reliever Richard Lovelady to the 60-day IL. He was already done for the year due to injury so this is just a formality that officially ends his season. It’s unknown if Lovelady will be ready for the start of next season.