Oakland Athletics: Zach Neal Designated For Assignment
By Joey Lopez
The Oakland Athletics made several moves on Wednesday, including designating Zach Neal for assignment.
The Oakland Athletics have been rather busy lately. According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, the A’s have designated Zach Neal for assignment. The move comes after the acquisition of lefty Sam Moll.
Neal, 28, has been rather ineffective this year for the A’s. He has not had much playing time this year, but owns a 7.98 ERA through 14-plus innings of work. Overall, Neal owns a 4.89 lifetime ERA.
Neal’s most recent appearance with Oakland came back in July when the A’s dropped a game against Seattle. In that appearance, Neal tossed an inning of work and did not give up any runs.
The one positive that Neal possesses is excellent control. In 2016, Neal gave up just six walks over 70 innings of work (0.77 BB/9). In his limited action this year, Neal allowed a just one walk.
His superb control is Neal’s primary strength. Outside of that, however, Neal has not posted any elite numbers during his career with Oakland.
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Moving Over For Moll
Neal’s exit comes thanks to the arrival of Sam Moll.
The A’s acquired Moll from the Rockies in exchange for cash-considerations and a player to be named later. Moll was designated for assignment earlier this month by the Rockies.
Moll is a few years younger than Neal and has yet to make his big league debut. The former third-round draft pick has had plenty of experience in the minor leagues.
More recently, Moll has spent time with Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate. In 47-plus innings of work this year, Moll has gone 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA. Last year, Moll went 3-5 with a 4.94 ERA over 42 appearances in Triple-A.
Unlike Neal, Moll’s command is a bit shaky (3.42 BB/9 this year). The A’s apparently see the value of adding additional depth to their bullpen. One bright spot for Moll is his ground-ball rate.
Last year, Moll posted a 55.1% ground-ball rate. This year, he’s posted a 50.3% ground-ball rate. If he can post similar rates with Oakland, then he could prove to be a valuable addition to a rather questionable bullpen.