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Purcey We Hardly Knew You, Sizemore Added

May 27, 2011

Earlier today I speculated about the supposed imminent call-up of Andrew Bailey and I had some right guesses and some wrong ones. I wrote,

David Purcey seems safe as he has no options left and has proven adept at pitching multiple innings…

…The more interesting aspect of this transaction might not be the beneficial return of Bailey but the resultant roster move.”

Well David Purcey was anything but safe as this afternoon he was shipped to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for infielder Scott Sizemore. Sizemore was sent to Sacramento while left-handed pitcher Bobby Cramer, recovered from a sore back was recalled to fill the vacancy created by Purcey’s move. Didn’t see that coming at all.

Purcey did not spend very much time in Oakland as he was acquired a little over a month ago on April 18th from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Danny Farquhar. During his short tenure in the East Bay he pitched 12 2/3 innings posting a 2.13 ERA and a 3.54 FIP while throwing 5.0 K/9 and allowing 2.1 BB/9. I had become a fan of David Purcey, and thought he held some promise, some around the A’s speculated with our starting rotation hurting from injuries he could become an option to enter the rotation but instead he is headed to Motown. During his time in Oakland he didn’t even get a pair of shoes that fit he was here for so little time.

In return the A’s get Scott Sizemore who has split his time between Detroit and the beautiful city an hour south of Detroit, Toledo home of the Triple-A Mud Hens burning up the fast lane of I-75. His major league career is just 237 plate appearances long as during that time he owns a .223/.306/.306 slash line, though he has been a monster at AAA posting a .315/.392/.487 slash line in two and a half seasons with the Mud Hens. Sizemore is the typical A’s target in the sense he has a phenomenal OBP: .398 in 2,130 MiLB plate appearances. At the major league level that hasn’t translated but this article from Lynn Henning of the Detroit News helps explain why,

“But what fans didn’t sufficiently appreciate [about his slow start to his Tigers career in 2010] was Sizemore’s bad ankle and how it sabotaged his season, both in the field and at the plate. I watched him play second base during a workout last week and was stunned at how dramatically better he moved.

That’s critical, obviously, because defense at an up-the-middle position is such an imperative.

But where fans should also see a difference, a big difference, is in Sizemore’s hitting. Remember that scouts have always said Sizemore has a big-league bat. He was pretty much a .300 hitter in the minors and has an awesome on-base percentage in his five years in the Tigers system: .384.

But with limited ability to hit off his front side in 2010, at least early on when the kinks from his 2009 surgery were still a problem, Sizemore never got going. And then he began pressing.”

So basically Sizemore is the kind of guy we could really like, and he was prior to this move projected to be the Tigers second baseman of the future. In Toledo this year he has been knocking the cover off the ball (.408/.495/.605) , though his time in Detroit has been far less fortunate with a .222/.329/.238 mark. I like Sizemore’s potential, but his acquisition creates more questions than answers in my mind.

Sizemore first off is primarily a second baseman of his 65 major league games he has played 57 at 2B and six at 3B (two were as a DH). In the minors in 477 games, he has played 352 games at 2B, 66 games at SS, and 12 at 3B (one game was as a DH). So, primarily the guy is a second baseman – which isn’t exactly an area I was particularly concerned about for the A’s with Mark Ellis‘ heir apparent being Jemile Weeks. Now could he possibly take over that backup role currently held by Andy LaRoche? That’d seem likely but it seems like Adam Rosales‘ return would potentially beat him to the punch – and it is unclear but perhaps they view him as a possible third baseman (a position where we are very light both in Oakland and Sacramento) meaning Kevin Kouzmanoff could be finally headed out of town? Lot of things left unresolved by this move.

With respect to the bullpen it seems pretty clear now that should Andrew Bailey be called up this weekend that Bobby Cramer would be promptly sent back to the River Cats. But I am completely flabbergasted by the Jerry Blevins move – on Twitter I saw discussion that he wasn’t DFA’d and its been misreported but here is the Oakland A’s press release which has the very confusing and incongruent with my notion of a DFA explanation:

“The Oakland A’s recalled left-handed pitcher Josh Outman from Triple-A Sacramento and designated left-handed pitcher Jerry Blevins for assignment, the club announced today. Blevins remains on the A’s 40-man roster.”

It turns out this somehow is “true” because Blevins has pitched for Sacramento against the New Orleans Zephyrs on both the 24th and 25th of this month both of which happened after this move. Some have speculated on Twitter that this is a misreported option, than why have I yet to see a correction? It is perplexing but it appears that Blevins has been optioned not designated for assignment unless there is a form of being designated for assignment I am unfamiliar with. But as it stands he is on the 40-man roster, he is with the Sacramento River Cats which makes a bit more sense on some level because it seems odd that a team would relinquish two left-handed relievers in one week.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 9:21 pm

    I think the easiest answer to why there hasn’t been a correction is that the media department doesn’t know it made a mistake and the front office doesn’t care.

    • May 27, 2011 10:17 pm

      It’s just amazing how pervasive the error is – it is everywhere and I haven’t seen it once corrected (or even really questioned). It is up to us hardcore internet savvy fans!

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