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Joey Devine Sent to Sacramento

March 27, 2011

Joey Devine is being optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. This is does not, nor should it come as a surprise. Devine has struggled this Cactus League as he works back from two missed seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. Devine is taking everything in stride, which is good to see, apparently he has said things to the effect (I could not locate any quotes) that he is looking forward to working on things in the minor-leagues without the pressure to perform that’d exist if he were in Oakland. It appears that he acknowledges he has work to get in and is happy to get to work in Sacramento and return to Oakland sooner rather than later, as was relayed by Ken Korach during today’s broadcast.

Susan Slusser describes Devine as follows, saying,

“[Devine] told me the other day that he felt as if something had finally clicked – mentally, mechanically – and he’s back close to his old form. He just needs to to get in more work now, lock that all in, and he said he’d be fine with doing that at the minor-league level, where it’s easier to work on things.”

Manager Bob Geren said of Devine,

“Obviously, we’ll go with other relievers to start the season. But I’m encouraged with his last two outings, and he feels positive with where he is at, right now, physically. It’s not usually encouraging when you send somebody down, but in this particular case, we are very happy. He’s healthy, good velocity. He feels like the Minor Leagues is exactly what he needs.”

I actually am feeling a lot better about Devine than I did earlier. I don’t imagine he would need too many outings in Sacramento to return to form, as a lot of relievers only pitch five or six innings in Cactus League play. It’d be nice to have him in Oakland soon as I am not enamored of this three lefty-reliever situation we have, and especially not enamored of the four lefty-reliever situation should Bobby Cramer make the team.

It is easy to forget just how dominant Devine once was, but in 2008 he was by far the A’s best reliever posting gaudy numbers like a 0.59 ERA, 1.97 FIP, 9.7K/9, 0 home runs allowed in his 45 2/3 innings of work. That’d be very nice to have in the pen, a marked upgrade over Jerry Blevins.

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