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Blevins Optioned; Magnuson Recalled

May 11, 2011

Jerry Blevins was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento today – in a not entirely surprising move given his poor pitching as of late. Blevins, whom I’ve complained about numerous times and as recently as last night suggested should be demoted when I wrote, “Blevins should be pitching for the River Cats” – has been pretty near awful. After a good first few outings, he became a nightly implosion despite a 2/2 SD/MD ratio (he just exacerbated others’ beyond hopes bad outings). In his fourteen trips to the mound for Oakland, he sported a 4.61 ERA and horrific 5.57 FIP on the basis of some weak peripherals (7.9 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9). While he had the strikeouts working (8.6 K/9), he also had the lowest percentage of swinging strikes thus far in his career (7.6%). Everything ended up at -0.2 WAR for Blevins, and he clearly was replaceable by anyone at Sacramento.

That anyone is Trystan Magnuson (?). While the decision to demote Blevins wasn’t surprising, the decision to have Magnuson be the guy called up was to me very much so a surprise. Magnuson is having a decent year in Sacramento, sporting a 1.56 ERA and 2.74 FIP. In his first year at Triple-A, he also sports a 9.9 K/9 and a somewhat concerning 4.7 BB/9 in his 17 and a third innings of work. I really thought if anyone was called up from Sacramento it would have been Joey Devine, whose numbers are phenomenal (12.5 K/9 and 0.0 BB/9 in nine and a third innings pitched) and who also has MLB experience – the first outing for Magnuson in an A’s jersey will be his major league debut. So it is a little surprising but it’ll be interesting to see what Magnuson brings to the table. I am very pleased however that the L/R split that the A’s bullpen has featured is inching back to a more acceptable level as with this move the bullpen now features three southpaws and four right-handers.

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