Help Is On The Horizon For The Oakland A’s
With the Oakland A’s entrenched in heated races with playoff implications (2.5 games behind rival Texas Rangers for the division, and 4 games up in a tight Wild Card race), reinforcements could soon be on the way.. With their triple-A affiliate, Sacramento River Cats, whining down their season and with MLB roster expansion coming in September, there could be some much needed help on the way for the A’s.
Tonight, as I take in the River Cats playing the San Francisco Giants triple-A affiliate, Fresno Grizzlies, I figure we can start to take a look at some of the players who may get the September call-up to the majors (note: these are all players who are on the A’s 40-man roster as of August 28).
Pedro Figueroa, Relief Pitcher –
Figueroa got a call-up last September, pitching in 19 games for the A’s. He would register 21.2 IP, allowing 16 H’s, 9 R’s, 8 ER’s, 2 HR’s, 15 BB’s, 14 K’s, with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.431 WHIP. Completing his second season with the River Cats, Figueroa has pitched 58.2 IP, allowing 57 H’s, 29 R’s, 27 ER’s, 9 HR’s, 32 BB’s, 48 K’s, with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.517 WHIP. He throws hard, but has little control with his pitches, as evident by his high BB numbers. However, he does have experience pitching in September and can be a useful arm out of the pen for the A’s down the stretch.
Arnold Leon, Relief Pitcher –
Having been bumped up and down between double-A and triple-A for the better part of two seasons, it is questionable whether or not Leon will get a call-up to the A’s. He probably will just because the A’s can, but I’m not sure if he’ll see much playing time. For the season, he has a 4-3 W-L record, with a 4.15 ERA in 10 games pitched, 9 of those starts. He has allowed 29 R’s, 28 ER, 64 H’s, 4 HR’s, 10 BB’s, 40 K’s, and a 1.220 WHIP. While having a good WHIP and low BB totals, having never pitched in the majors I would be surprised if the A’s gave him any meaningful innings in September.
Hideki Okajima, Relief Pitcher –
I feel like Okajima is the wild card that the A’s have been waiting all season to play. He has pitched well this season after spending the 2012 season back in Japan. The whiley old vet has spent most of the season with the River Cats, registering 41.2 IP, allowing 35 H’s, 16 R’s, 15 ER, 4 HR’s, 9 BB’s, 45 K’s. He also has a 3.24 ERA and a 1.056 WHIP. He has plenty of big league experience, having pitched 5 seasons with the Boston Red Sox. In his time with the Red Sox, Okajima has a career 17-8 W-L record with a 3.11 ERA, 86 BB’s, and 215 K’s. What’s important is that he’s familiar with pitching in big games and getting batters out. He’ll be a nice addition as another left-handed option out of the pen.
Andrew Werner, Starting Pitcher –
Werner pitched as a starter this season with the River Cats, but if he were called-up in September, he would most likely work as a long reliever. His numbers for the River Cats this season are as such: 11-14 W-L record, 5.89 ERA, 198 H’s, 108 R’s, 104 ER, 20 HR’s, 37 BB’s, 107 K’s, and a .1478 WHIP. They may look high, but the PC (Pacific Coast League) is known as a hitters league, so pitching numbers can be inflated a bit. With the starting rotation pretty much intact with Bartolo Colon and now Brett Anderson coming back from injuries, it’s tough to see where Werner would see innings.
Andy Parrino, Shortstop –
If Parrino can provide one thing for the A’s as a September call-up, it is that he is a very good defensive player at shortstop. In 223 attempts at short, Parrino committed 15 errors for a fielding percentage of .959. He can also play some second and third base. His bat however leaves much to be desired. In his first season with the River Cats, Parrino is hitting just .214/.304/.310 with 76 H’s, 16 2B’s, 4 HR’s, 35 RBI’s, 42 BB’s, 97 K’s, and a .614 OPS. Again, he won’t give you much with his bat, but I would think he would most definitely see time as a defensive replacement late in games if called-up.
Jemile Weeks, Second Baseman / Outfielder –
Weeks is no stranger to Oakland A’s fans. He was a highly-touted prospect for the A’s not that long ago, showing much promise in his first stint in the big leagues in 2011. However, he has since fallen off, incapable of maintaining his good play from when he first got called up. He spent this entire season in triple-A with the River Cats, working on his game and learning a new position, having played some outfield. This season, Weeks is batting .271/.376/.364 with 95 R’s, 137 H’s, 18 2B’s, 10 3B’s, 3 HR’s, 39 RBI’s, 17 SB’s, and a .740 OPS. I would personally love to see Weeks get a September call-up, as when I interviewed him back in July, he sounded lost and dejected with his place within the A’s organization.
Shane Peterson, Outfielder –
Peterson raised eyebrows this Spring Training, hitting the cover off the ball and actually making a strong case to make the opening day roster as the 5th outfielder. Instead, he was sent to triple-A but kept on the 40-man roster. In his first full season in triple-A, Peterson is hitting .256/.361/.395 with 69 R’s, 114 H’s, 24 2B’s, 12 HR’s, 78 RBI’s, 74 BB’s, 122 K’s, 17 SB’s, and a .756 OPS. He would be nothing more than a late inning pitch-hitter or defensive replacement, as he has played all three outfield positions this season.
Michael Taylor, Outfielder –
Like Weeks, the A’s had high hopes for Taylor as a big league player, but he just can’t find a way to stay up with the big club. He’s has been bounced up-and-down between the A’s and the River Cats the past few seasons, with each time leaving fans wondering if he’ll ever stick. He’s proven he can hit in triple-A, he just needs to do it in the pros. Currently in his fourth season with the River Cats, Taylor is having his best season, hitting .288/.367/.483 with 53 R’s, 115 H’s, 25 2B’s, 17 HR’s, 83 RBI’s, 50 BB’s, 84 K’s, and a .850 OPS. Hopefully he can be a serviceable bat off the bench for the A’s and carry that with him into next Spring Training.