The Oakland A’s are hoping that they do not need to count on Daniel Mengden in their rotation, but he is ready to provide some needed depth.
Heading into the imagined beginning of the 2020 season, the Oakland A’s rotation depth appeared to be in rough shape. Daniel Mengden had undergone three surgeries in the offseason, including a procedure on his elbow in February. The expectation was that he would miss the first two months of the season, if not longer.
With the postponement of the season due to the pandemic, Mengden has had time to recover. According to Brodie Brazil of NBCSports.com, Mengden says that he is almost completely recovered and ready to contribute to the A’s.
Mengden, while better known for his moustache, has been a solid part of the A’s pitching corps, splitting time between the majors and AAA. That continued last year, as he posted a 4.83 ERA and a 1.441 WHiP over 59.2 major league innings. He also posted a 4.22 ERA and a 1.188 WHiP over 64 innings for the Las Vegas Aviators.
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This continued his relatively solid pitching when he has had an opportunity in Oakland. Mengden has ridden the Oakland-AAA Express over the past four years, serving as a valued depth piece for the organization. In his 290.1 major league innings, he has posted a decent 4.68 ERA and a 1.295 WHiP, striking out 214 batters with 95 walks.
Meanwhile, Mengden has been solid at AAA as well. In his four seasons between Nashville and Las Vegas, he has posted a 3.11 ERA and a 1.112 WHiP in 225.2 innings, striking out 202 batters with 62 walks.
Chances are, Mengden will not have many opportunities in the A’s rotation this year. The starters are essentially set, leaving Mengden likely to be battling for a long reliever spot. However, the rotation does have a number of question marks regarding health, particularly with A.J. Puk and Sean Manaea. Should a pitcher falter, or need an extra day of rest, Mengden would be right there to step in.
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Daniel Mengden is ready to contribute to the Oakland A’s. His return gives Oakland some needed pitching depth, an area that had been a concern heading into 2020.