Jesus Luzardo getting closer to return to Oakland A’s
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s are finally getting some good news when it comes to their pitching staff. Jesus Luzardo, who has been sidelined since May 2, is inching closer to a return to the roster. He had completed a 51 pitch bullpen session on Sunday without a problem, leading to the hope that he would be able to return soon.
Now Luzardo is taking the next step in his journey back to the majors. He will make a rehab start on Thursday in Las Vegas, and will be re-evaluated after that outing.
Jesus Luzardo closing in on return to Oakland A’s
The 2021 campaign had not gotten off to the type of start that either Luzardo or the A’s would have wanted. He had posted a 5.79 ERA and a 1.607 WHiP in his 28 innings. While he struck out 30 batters, Luzardo also issued 13 walks and allowed five homers before landing on the Injured List.
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If everything goes well on Thursday, it is possible that Luzardo would return to the majors shortly thereafter. He would give Oakland another arm, either in the bullpen or the rotation, helping to take some of the burden off of a bullpen that has been overworked of late. Oakland’s bullpen, which had been a strength until recently, is in desperate need of a rest.
It also remains to be seen as to what Luzardo’s role would be. Luzardo has fared well as a reliever in the majors, posting a 3.32 ERA and a 1.062 WHiP while striking out 23 batters in 21.2 innings out of the bullpen. Slotting him into a relief role would get him back to the majors sooner and give the A’s that needed piece for the bullpen.
Slotting Luzardo into the bullpen, at least for the time being, would also solve another possible issue. The A’s rotation has performed well, making it difficult to remove one of those options for Luzardo, especially as inconsistent as he has been this season. Of course, this is entirely contingent on his performing well on Thursday.
Jesus Luzardo is getting closer to a return to the Oakland A’s. If he performs well on Thursday, he could be back in the majors sooner than expected.