Latest On A’s Rotation – MLB Trade Rumors

The A’s entered camp with a multitude of pitchers battling for what appeared to be two rotational spots. Another was opened as a righty during spring training Paul Blackburn has ripped off a fingernail and is starting the year on the injured list. That went Drew Rucinski And Shintaro Fujinami than the obvious top two. For various reasons, there are questions about the workload that both slingers can shoulder.

Rucinski will not make his next scheduled spring training start due to a left hamstring strain, manager Mark Kotsay said this afternoon (submitted by Martín Gallegos of His availability for opening day is now uncertain. Rucinski, who signed a $3 million free agent deal with the Korea Baseball Organization after four seasons with the NC Dinos, has served three times this spring. The right-hander has conceded eight runs with a 7-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 10 1/3 innings.

Fujinami has no health concerns. However, the A’s plan to be careful with his workload as he makes the leap from Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. Starters in Japan typically only throw once a week, so a five-day rotation is an adjustment for slingers coming from NPB. Kotsay indicated this week that Oakland would limit Fujinami to starting every sixth or seventh day early in the season to avoid overloading him (link via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle).

We make a point of keeping him in that routine‘ Kotsay told reporters. “There’s already a lot of change going on for Fuji so we want to try to keep at least one thing as constant as possible and that’s his routines.The 6’6″ right-hander signed for $3.25 million this offseason, with the A’s rolling the dice in a high-octane arsenal despite an inconsistent strike-throwing track record in Japan.

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Control issues have prevented Fujinami from earning a permanent rotation spot with the Hanshin Tigers in recent seasons. He’d bounced back and forth between the Tigers and their minor-league affiliate, and between the starting team and the bullpen. Overall, Fujinami hit 107 1/3 innings last season. That was the first time he’s surpassed the century mark since 2018, so it’s not surprising the A’s want to keep an eye on his workload.

Oakland have claimed they are signed to Fujinami as a starting pitcher. It’s a positive play that could make him an intriguing trade contender as he establishes himself closer to the summer deadline. Fujinami has been unpredictable this spring, hitting 17 but giving up 13 walks in 12 2/3 frames over three outings.

With just one pitcher now locked into the season-opening rotation and coming with workload concerns of his own, Oakland obviously has a number of vacancies to fill. As Kawahara writes in a separate article, correct James Kaprielian appears to be on track to land a rotation job. While in camp recovering from shoulder surgery in December, he built up to five innings in today’s show opener against the Cubs. The former Yankee first-rounder started in 26 games last year and pitched for 134 innings while working to a 4.23 ERA despite below-average strikeout, walk and groundball rates.

Alongside Fujinami, Kaprielian and hopefully Rucinski, some of the recent trade acquisitions are all competing for rotation spots. Ken Waldichuk And JP Searsboth acquired from the Yankees last summer Frankie Montas Deal, could have the inside track for Jobs after his debut last season. left handed Kyle Muellerbrought to the one from Atlanta this winter Sean Murphy Parcel stays in stock.

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So does Righty Adam Ollerwho came into the from the Mets Chris Bassitt trade a year ago. Oller started as a rookie in 14 of 19 MLB appearances but was hit hard, giving up more than six earned runs per nine innings. Kawahara suggests the right-hander could be issued for long relief instead of the rotation. The 28-year-old told reporters he is open to whatever role the club prefer. “I knew there would be an opportunity to go into (a swing role) this year‘ Oller said (via Kawahara). “I spoke to Kotsay… and I said straight to him, ‘I don’t care.’ Of course everyone wants to be a starter, but at the end of the day I just want to be on the team and do whatever it takes to help the team win.


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