The Oakland Athletics are off to a decent start to the 2019 season. Yet, today’s disappointing loss to the Texas Rangers makes it necessary for several roster moves.
So far the bullpen has not been effective. Two of the A’s most experienced relievers have not pitched well. Joakim Soria took the loss today giving up three hits, a walk and four runs while only recording an out. His era for the season is now 11.05 with a record of 0-2. Fernando Rodney is 0-1 on the season with 12.00 era.
Oakland has several options when it comes to relievers with Major League experience in Las Vegas. Ryan Dull who was on the opening day roster has an era of 0.00 with 10 strikeouts and two walks. Jerry Blevins adds another lefty to the bullpen he has an era of 1.80 with 10 strikeouts and a walk. The other options in terms of relievers Wei-Chung Wang who has an era of 2.70 along with six strikeouts and no walks and is another lefty.
A week ago many fans were not too thrilled with the Jurickson Profar acquisition until the four game series in Baltimore as his bat has come alive. With Matt Olson out due to injury the Athletics acquired veteran designated hitter/first basemen Kendrys Morales.
He is one that Oakland needs to move on from and allow for Mark Canha to play until Olson returns from injury. So far Morales has looked decent defensively, yet has not provided much offensively. After an 0-3 performance he is now hitting .214 with a homer and two rbi.
Robbie Grosssman though hitting .265 after a two hit performance hasn’t shown the ability to get on base consistently and with a homer and four rbi his production is easily replaceable in left field.
Oakland has several options here. Dustin Fowler definitely has produced in Las Vegas. He has four home runs and 13 rbi with a .357 batting average. If he’s not the one Mark Payton has been even hotter hitting .483 with five home runs and 15 rbi. He’s also added five walks and has only struck out three times.
When the Athletics elected to not re-sign Jonathan Lucroy; the organization decided to go with three catchers during spring training. Chris Herrmann got hurt, so it’s now Josh Phegley and Nick Hundley doing the catching. While top prospect Sean Murphy is not yet ready, Hundley has looked awful offensively and handling the pitching staff.
Phegley is currently hitting .325 and drove in another run today and seemingly will start more. Since Oakland will certainly not start Murphy’s clock early, Beau Taylor is a candidate to get called up.
As for the starting pitching this is where it gets a bit more difficult. Mike Fiers has not looked good in his starts except his only start the Coliseum. Marco Estrada hasn’t pitched well either and the Athletics did push him back thanks to the game being rained out on Saturday.
Oakland did bring back Edwin Jackson on a minor league deal. He’ll pitch for Las Vegas first before returning to the A’s rotation. Paul Blackburn is the leading candidate at this point to take a spot. His era is 2.25 and he has struck out 11 while walking only two in 12 inning pitched and is 2-0. Daniel Mengden has made one start and one relief appearance and has an era of 2.45 with 16 strikeouts and two walks with a record of 1-0.
Adding Dull, Blevins or Wang, Payton, Fowler, Taylor, Blackburn and Jackson while subtracting Soria, Rodney, Morales, Grossman, Hundley and Estrada are definitely needed now.