Oakland A’s could get A.J. Puk back at perfect time

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 18: A.J. Puk #31 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during summer workouts at RingCentral Coliseum on July 18, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 18: A.J. Puk #31 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during summer workouts at RingCentral Coliseum on July 18, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have a brutal stretch coming up with 16 games in 13 days. Fortunately, A.J. Puk may be back in time for those games.

In any other season, September would be a time for teams to be able to start resting their players for the postseason. Instead, this year, it is a time when teams are having as many games as possible as they are making up games lost to COVID-19 outbreaks. The Oakland A’s are definitely in that boat, with 16 games scheduled in a 13 day stretch.

However, they may be getting some help soon. A.J. Puk is scheduled to have one more outing on Sunday and should be activated shortly thereafter.

This would give the A’s another new lefty option in the bullpen. Mike Minor had been activated on Thursday with Daniel Mengden landing on the COVID list, although Minor may be needed in the rotation as well.

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The A’s schedule goes beyond those 16 games in 13 days. They will have to play ten games in seven days beginning on September 8, with three doubleheaders in three different cities. Their schedule concludes with the A’s having to play 26 games over 24 days. Any possible help for the pitching staff will be desperately needed.

Puk can be exactly that. With his high octane fastball and excellent slider, he has all the tools necessary to be a power lefty in the A’s bullpen this season. He showed flashes of that potential last season, posting a 3.18 ERA and a 1.324 WHiP in his 11.1 innings, striking out 13 batters while issuing five walks.

The A’s are hoping that Puk is able to replicate that type of production when he returns. Oakland’s bullpen has been a strength, even as the rotation as gone through some struggles as of late. To have Puk return to that form would be a major boost to an already strong bullpen.

Next. The Frankie Montas question. dark

A.J. Puk is on the cusp of returning and it is just in the nick of time for the Oakland A’s. They need all the pitching reinforcements they can get.

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