Oakland Athletics: Is Blake Treinen The New Closer?

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Blake Treinen
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 31: Blake Treinen /

The Oakland Athletics completed a huge comeback on Sunday afternoon against the Angels. The A’s scored five runs in the eighth inning and handed the ball to Blake Treinen in the ninth to close things out.

The A’s finally seem finished with Santiago Casilla in the ninth inning. On Sunday, the A’s completed perhaps their greatest comeback of the year and beat the Angels 11-10 in Anaheim.

Oakland’s stunning win was not easy. Casilla nearly caved in the bottom half of the eighth inning. Casilla has had plenty of interesting moments this year, but Sunday’s bases-loaded situation reached new levels of drama.

When the A’s escaped Casilla’s drama filled eighth inning, they were smart to hand the ball to Blake Treinen in the ninth. Bob Melvin‘s depleted bullpen is hardly equipped to hold leads, but Treinen seems like a better option than Casilla at this point.

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Treinen closed the door on the Angels in the ninth inning without much drama.

Treinen picked up his second save with the A’s and fifth overall the year. He struggled this year with Washington, but Treinen is performing well with Oakland.

With the season coming to a close, the A’s would be smart to explore some of the new options in their bullpen. Handing the ball to Treinen (1.59 ERA with A’s) in save situations would be a step in the right direction.

A New Direction

Casilla is a veteran reliever with plenty of experience, but his struggles have led to an inconsistent season this year. Moving far away from Casilla as an option in the ninth inning would greatly benefit the A’s.

The A’s have a bullpen with a lot of question marks, so experimenting with the team’s newer options makes sense for the long-term. Finding out what the A’s have in guys like Treinen, Simon Castro among others should be the focus during the final two months.

With Treinen, the A’s have an interesting option. He struggled with the Nationals this year, but was acquired in the Doolittle/Madson trade for a reason. Treinen’s struggles with Washington are well-documented, but the A’s are hopeful that a change of scenery will help turn things around for Treinen.

One reason Treinen has struggled a bit this year is the fact that his sinker has been ineffective. Opponents are hitting .338 against the pitch this year. Treinen’s most effective pitch this year has been his slider. Opponents are hitting just .083 against it this year.

Treinen’s sinker and slider are his most used pitch. If he can generate better results with his sinker, then Treinen could become a nice option for the A’s in save opportunities. During his short time with Oakland, Treinen has been effective. Giving him an extended look the rest of the way doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

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