It was not necessarily a surprise that A.J. Puk was sent down to the Oakland A’s alternate site. While he had been penciled into the fifth starter role, Puk did not get nearly enough innings, nor stretched out enough, to be a part of the rotation. Cole Irvin‘s impressive March was the final nail in the coffin, as Puk was optioned out.
That trek to the alternate site did not last long. He was recalled to the majors, replacing Chad Pinder on the active roster as the A’s utility man was placed on the Injured List.
A.J. Puk ready to make an impact for Oakland A’s
Considering that the A’s allowed 35 runs in their four games against the Astros, it makes sense to add some reinforcements for the pitching staff. Although Puk will not be a part of the rotation just yet, he can still be a multi-inning weapon in the bullpen.
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Puk has had success as a reliever in the majors, as he made his debut as part of the bullpen. In 2019, he allowed four runs on ten hits and five walks in his 11.1 innings, striking out 13 batters. With his high octane fastball and devastating slider, Puk does have the potential to be a force as a reliever.
It may not take long for Puk to make his debut as a starter in the majors. Irvin allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk in his 4.1 innings on Saturday, and does not exactly have a strong track record in the majors. Given Puk’s upside and arsenal, it would not be a surprise for Irvin to be on a shorter leash.
Bringing Puk to the major league roster would also seem to be an indication that the A’s are starting to get some players back. Sean Murphy returned to the lineup on Monday, and the hope is that Ramon Laureano will return on Tuesday. While the A’s do other utility players that can play in the outfield, Puk’s ascension would seem to lead to the belief that Laureano is ready to return.
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The Oakland A’s have brought up reinforcement for the pitching staff as A.J. Puk is back in the majors. It may not take long before he has a key role.