Oakland Athletics 2016 Preview: Reliever Ryan Dull
Relief pitcher Ryan Dull made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics on September 1, 2015
Even though the Oakland Athletics acquired a handful of new relievers this offseason in order to rebuild their bullpen, they have also dipped into their minor leagues to see what their prospects can bring to the table. One minor leaguer who made an impression last September, and is continuing to put his best foot forward this spring, is 26-year-old relief pitcher Ryan Dull. Throughout spring camp, Dull will be competing for the one of the last bullpen spots available in the hopes of making the A’s Opening Day roster.
Dull’s journey to the big leagues has been quite quick for a 2012 32nd round draft pick. In 2015, Dull started the year in Double-A and made 35 relief appearances with the Texas RockHounds. From there, Dull rose to Triple-A toward the end of the season and pitched 16 relief innings with the Nashville Sounds before being called up to the big leagues on September 1.
It was not too surprising that the Athletics brought up Dull when the roster expanded, as Dull maintained a 0.74 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP while in Triple and Double-A in 2015. However, it was impressive as to how quickly he found success in the majors. He did not allow a single run in his first eight outings in green and gold, and only allowed three hits in those scoreless 11 innings pitched. Despite struggling in late September, it was clear once the 2015 season concluded that Dull would have a bright future as an MLB relief pitcher.
Before spring training began this year, it was speculated that it may make sense to have Dull start the season in the minors in order to continue developing his talent since he had not spent much time at the Triple-A level last year. However, he has been impressive during spring training thus far. Dull has pitched two scoreless innings and gotten out of a tight jam on March 6.
In a pre-season game against the San Diego Padres, two fielding errors and a walk resulted in the bases being loaded with no outs. Even though he only had one month of MLB experience under his belt, Dull did not panic. He buckled down, struck out two batters, and was able to get another opposing hitter to fly out. If he continues to pitch like this throughout spring training, he could easily earn a spot in the bullpen for the 2016 season.
Despite the last name, Dull’s pitching style is anything but boring. With his fastball, slider and changeup, Dull has been able to successfully fool hitters and strike them out throughout his professional baseball career. Even if he does not make the Oakland Athletics’ Opening Day roster in 2016, he will definitely make an appearence at the O.co Coliseum at some point this season.
Bold Prediction: Ryan Dull will start the 2016 in Triple-A, but will be called up before the All Star break in July.
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