Sometimes, all a player needs is a chance. For Daulton Jefferies, that chance to make an impression on the Oakland A’s could come early in the regular season.
Jefferies had already impressed thus far in spring training, appearing to be well on his way to a role with the A’s. The problem was determining exactly what that role would be. Oakland continues to envision A.J. Puk as a starter, and Mike Fiers was brought back as an insurance option. Jefferies appeared ticketed for a spot in the bullpen at best.
Injuries could open door for Daulton Jefferies
But a door may be opening for Jefferies in the rotation. Puk has yet to actually get into a spring training game and will not be stretched out enough for a starting role by Opening Day. Fiers, meanwhile, is dealing with back discomfort, and while they are unsure of how long he will be out, this could lead to an open spot in the rotation.
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Jefferies would seemingly be ready for the majors based on his minor league performance. Although he has just 99.2 innings in the minors due to injury, he has impressed at every stop along the way, posting a 3.17 ERA and a 1.047 WHiP, striking out 121 batters with just 12 walks. He does not seem to have anything left to prove.
He could also use a do over at the major league level. Jefferies made his debut last year, allowing five runs on five hits, including two homers, and two walks in his two innings. That performance was vastly unlike his minor league showing, and may have been the result of nerves or not having the same schedule as he normally would have.
Sometimes, all a player needs is a chance. Jefferies has looked great thus far in spring training, potentially forcing his way into the A’s plans for Opening Day. Now, with Fiers dealing with a back issue and Puk still yet to appear in a game, Jefferies may have himself a role in the rotation.
Daulton Jefferies has done his part thus far in spring training. With injuries and question marks in the rotation, he could get his chance.