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Carignan and Cowgill Up; Miller and Taylor Down

May 11, 2012

Yoenis Cespedes is day-to-day with his strained hand and that meant that the A’s chose to make some moves. Surprisingly one of the moves they made was to demote Michael Taylor. Taylor, a corner outfielder was demoted possibly in part due to Josh Reddick‘s error in center yesterday as the A’s sought a more qualified center fielder in Cespedes’ absence and called up Collin Cowgill. Jane Lee of tweeted that,

“Taylor’s demotion not a reflection of performance, [A’s manager Bob] Melvin says. He wanted a CF, with Cespedes still out and Reddick more comfortable in RF.”

Taylor in just four games had 16 plate appearances and struck out in 43.8% of them en route to a .188/.188/.250 slash line. To me he just looked terribly lost being fooled again and again in particular by Ricky Romero with near identical sequencing and on near identical pitches. While he did finally adjust in his fourth at bat (albeit not one against Romero) he looked beyond lost earlier when it was pretty obvious what was about to be thrown, and even outside of that Romero strikeout hat trick game he didn’t do much to impress in his short time in the bigs. Cowgill gets another shot after going 0-for-4 with three walks in a brief stint to start the year with the A’s. In Sacramento he has hit .284/.346/.432 with a .356 wOBA and 111 wRC+, a 7.4% BB%  that isn’t great in 81 plate appearances. While these numbers are probably about where they should be with a .322 BABIP for a Pacific Coast League team, so I think he is playing right about at the level his numbers suggest. He can play center field and given the playing time that Taylor got, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a good deal of Cowgill this time around.

The other move sent Jim Miller down and brought Andrew Carignan up. I wouldn’t read too much into this move other than to think that with the bullpen having been used rather heavily as of late, Miller likely is being sent down just to bring in a fresh live arm and Carignan is that guy. Miller pitched nine and a third innings for the A’s this season in six games as a long reliever. He posted a 1.93 ERA, but a 3.91 FIP as he managed 4.8 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. Carignan who opened the year with the team, struggled mightily to the tune of a four and one-third inning, 6.2 K/9, 10.4 BB/9 brand of baseball that led to a 6.23 ERA and 5.03 FIP. His flat but fast fastball was received much more kindly in Sacramento it seems where in eleven innings he had an eye-popping 13.9 K/9 to just 0.8 BB/9 while keeping the ball in the yard. So to go along with a very strong 1.64 ERA, he has a stunning 0.38 FIP to accompany it.

Little surprised about the Taylor move and didn’t see the Miller move being made especially in light of how he has pitched somewhat well – I think I’d have opted to option Pedro Figueroa who has been seldom used before Miller and help fix the righty/lefty bullpen balance a bit.

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