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A’s Claim Travis Blackley Off Waivers

May 15, 2012

Fosters may be Australian for beer but Oakland A’s is Australian for baseball as the A’s made their third waiver claim of the year on an Australian born player by claiming left-handed pitcher Travis Blackley from the San Francisco Giants. The native of Melbourne, Victoria, was designated for assignment two days ago by the San Francisco Giants. Blackley pitched in four games for the Giants this year tallying five innings and a 9.00 ERA while walking and striking out two apiece. Originally signed by the Mariners as a free agent in 2000, this will be Blackley’s second stint in the A’s organization as the 29 year-old spent most of 2010 with the Sacramento River Cats.

On his career Blackley has 39 2/3 innings pitched with most of those coming with the M’s in 2004. During his career he has 5.2 K/9 to 6.5 BB/9 with 2.5 HR/9 despite playing in quite pitcher friendly parks. All of those peripherals add up to an uninspiring to say the least 9.30 ERA, and marginally better 7.79 FIP for a grand total of -0.8 WAR in his career. To make room for Blackley the A’s moved injured pitcher Joey Devine to the 60-day disabled list.

Blackley has pitched well for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League this season with a 0.39 ERA and 2.51 FIP across 23 1/3 innings having started three of his four appearances. He has 7.3 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9 in the PCL this year. I don’t understand the thinking for the A’s here. There is an axiom that one can never have enough left-handed pitching but the A’s bullpen seriously tests that theory. My guess is the odd man out when Blackley is added to the 25-man roster is Pedro Figueroa who has been used sparingly and hasn’t been particularly impressive and I think that Andrew Carignan who has been even more unimpressive is safer because of his right-handedness but I haven’t always guessed these moves right and wouldn’t be shocked to guess wrong again here. Not a move I’d have made, here’s hoping the front office knows something I don’t.

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