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Elephant Rumblings: JP Sears struggles again

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Oakland Athletics v Chicago White Sox Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

When Zach Neal started Friday’s series opener in Chicago, he became the 21st different pitcher to start a game for the Oakland Athletics this season. That tied the 2019 Blue Jays for the most starters used in a season by a Major League club. With over a month remaining, that record is nearly a sure thing to fall. Oakland has used a number of pitchers as openers this year, but the rotation has been in a state of flux as well whether due to injury or underperformance. One constant through it all has been JP Sears who began the season in the rotation and has made 26 starts to date.

Cracks are starting to show though for Sears who has now amassed a career-high 140 2/3 innings. Sears struggled for the second straight start Saturday allowing nine hits and six runs over six innings. He’s now allowed 13 runs and five homers over his last 10 innings. He’s surrendered 31 homers this season which is the third most in the majors. He’s been able to manage that for the most part due to a low walk rate. Mark Kotsay said after Saturday’s game that Sears is struggling to locate his slider at the moment. Perhaps that is due at least in part to the increased workload.

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