Oakland A’s designate Daniel Mengden for assignment

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 18: Relief pitcher Daniel Mengden #33 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 18, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 18: Relief pitcher Daniel Mengden #33 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on August 18, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have made a surprising move in designating Daniel Mengden for assignment on Sunday.

Daniel Mengden has not exactly had the greatest of years. The Oakland A’s pitcher has dealt with numerous health issues, with two intestinal surgeries and elbow surgery before he tested positive for COVID-19. While he was asymptomatic, Mengden was on the shelf for the past month.

Now his time with the A’s is seemingly at an end. He was activated from the COVID-19 restricted list and designated for assignment on Sunday.

This would seem to be a curious move on the surface. Mengden would appear to have a role on the A’s as a spot starter/long reliever, a potentially valuable commodity for a team whose rotation has not fired on all cylinders at the same time.

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However, it is fair to wonder how much of a future he really had with the organization. While he allowed just five runs in his 12.1 innings, he also allowed 14 hits and seven walks while striking out ten batters. Mengden was essentially a depth piece for the A’s as well, riding the shuttle between the majors and AAA as needed.

While Mengden had his moments of success, he was essentially a replaceable arm for the A’s. In his 302.2 major league innings, he had posted a 4.64 ERA and a 1.312 WHiP, striking out 224 batters with 102 walks. However, he had been solid at AAA, with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.12 WHiP over his 225.2 innings.

Meanwhile, the A’s do have plenty of depth. The acquisition of Mike Minor essentially gives the A’s six starting pitchers, and at least two of them will be slotted into the bullpen for the postseason. Mengden had essentially become superfluous.

Given his track record at AAA, and his moments of success in the majors, it is entirely possible that Mengden will get a chance somewhere else. While his major league numbers may not be overly impressive, he also had just one season with more than 15 outings. He has not had an extended chance to show what he can do at the major league level.

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When Daniel Mengden does get that chance, it is not likely to be with the Oakland A’s. He was designated for assignment on Sunday, likely putting an end to his time with the franchise.

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