Oakland Athletics Need Bullpen Changes Now, Not Later


Apr 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics bullpen pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) pitches the ball against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Texas Rangers defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics are a great team. One of the best. But they are not at their best. There is a huge gaping hole in the team, one that is sinking the Athletics and causing more losses than necessary. That hole is the bullpen.

What? The bullpen? But wasn’t that supposed to be their biggest strength coming into the season?

That’s what it looked like on paper. But if there’s anything the Athletics have taught us it’s that baseball can’t be predicted or judged by how a team looks on paper. This bullpen came into the final game against the White Sox with the best bullpen ERA, but that’s a faulty stat to evaluate the team. This Bullpen is blowing way too many games.

The main culprits are Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson.

Usually when writing articles, writers are supposed to stay objective. They have to be as professional as possible. That’s why I love writing for FanSided, because I don’t have to be. This is a website run by fans, for the fans. And just like you other Athletics fans out there, I am furious. I am very upset and angry with these two.

Today, as I write this, the bullpen cost us a 7 game win streak. They cost us opening night. They cost us a couple of series wins, and they have ruined and completely spoiled amazing starts by our amazing rotation. I can’t take it anymore.

Billy Beane, please get rid of these two! Yes, the organization is paying Johnson $10 million this season, but you have to know when to cut your losses. Johnson is a bust. Get rid of him. Send him to Triple-A. We the fans don’t care where he goes, but we don’t want him costing the team games. He nearly cost the team the first game against the White Sox a couple of days ago. He’s lucky that Sean Doolittle was there to bail him out.

Today, it was Gregerson’s turn to ruin it. With a 2-1 lead, Abad came into the 8th inning allowing two singles after getting 1 out, and there were runners on the corners. Instead of letting him finish it out, Bob Melvin decides to put in Luke Gregerson. He puts him in to face Jose Abreu.

Let’s think about that for a second. You’ve got the home run leader coming up with 2 runners on base. You have your best bullpen pitcher on the mound. He hasn’t allowed any runs to score while he’s been on the mound. The only runs charged to him are the ones that pitchers after him allow to score. Makes sense to let him pitch right?

Well Bob Melvin didn’t think so. Bob Melvin decided to put in Luke Gregerson. A pitcher has also been a total bust, having 7 save opportunities and blowing 4 of them. Why on Earth would you do that BoMel?

He’s a great manager, but it makes no sense to me why he doesn’t let his best bullpen pitcher finish his own innings instead bringing in guys who blow more games than they save. It’s frustrating.

We could have had a 7 game win streak right now. We could riding some great momentum into Cleveland, but instead we head on the road with a sour taste in our mouths from yet another sloppy performance from one of the new guys.

The Athletics could possibly be 28-13. maybe even better. Instead, we are 25-16. Still great, but not as good as we can be. Especially with Detroit coming up, the Athletics need to pick up as many wins as possible this month. Dropping a game like that is unacceptable.

Billy Beane, you’re a smart man. Make the necessary moves. Make some trades. Call some guys up. Do what you have to fix this bullpen. Don’t give Melvin the option to throw in horrible pitchers who blow more games than they do save them. Please Mr. Beane, patch up the gaping hole on your team. On our team.