Daulton Jefferies next in line for Oakland A’s
By David Hill
Daulton Jefferies time with the Oakland A’s could be coming soon, as he is reportedly atop the depth chart if they need another starter.
The Oakland A’s rotation appears to be set for the time being. They have a solid starting five, with the emergences of Chris Bassitt and Jesus Luzardo helping to solidify the rotation. In the event of injury, James Kaprielian is on the active roster, and Daniel Mengden is still around. The A’s have plenty of depth should the need arise.
Yet, if there is an injury, neither Kaprielian nor Mengden will get the call. According to reports, Daulton Jefferies is the next in line should the A’s need another starter.
Jefferies was never really on the A’s radar for the rotation during the original spring training. A biceps injury had set him back, and even though Luzardo and A.J. Puk were injured, Jefferies was not going to be ready in time.
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But times have changed. Jefferies is healthy and ready to contribute to the A’s if needed. At this point, that does not seem to be the case, especially as the rotation has been a strength for Oakland this year.
Despite being a somewhat forgotten prospect for the A’s, Jefferies has been solid in his own right. In his 26 outings spanning 79 innings, Jefferies posted a 3.42 ERA and a 1.038 WHiP, striking out 93 batters with just nine walks. With his impressive command and devastating changeup, he could surprise at the major league level.
It is also a bit surprising that the A’s consider him to be the next in line. Jefferies has not exactly been healthy since he was drafted in 2016, having pitched a total of 99.1 innings thus far in his professional career. Considering all the injuries to pitchers thus far in 2020, it would be understandable if the A’s had wanted to wait until next year before he made a contribution at the major league level.
But there is no questioning his potential. If Jefferies is healthy, he can be a major part of the A’s rotation, both this year and into the future. With the A’s staring down another playoff berth, and the AL West for the taking, Jefferies could make a difference.
The Oakland A’s will possibly find out in due time. If there is a need for another starting pitcher, Daulton Jefferies will reportedly get that call.