Jesus Luzardo set to return to Oakland A’s as reliever

Apr 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 13, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Oakland Athletics pitcher Jesus Luzardo against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland A’s are set to get a boost for their pitching staff. Jesus Luzardo will reportedly be activated on Sunday, adding another power arm with a great deal of potential. While his activation is not a surprise, the A’s were facing the question of what to do with Luzardo when he is ready.

They have answered that question for now. Luzardo will be pitching in relief when he is activated on Sunday, adding a second lefty to their bullpen.

Jesus Luzardo can solve a problem for the Oakland A’s

Luzardo had not been overly impressive this season before landing on the Injured List. He had posted a 5.79 ERA and a 1.608 WHiP over his 28 innings, striking out 30 batters, but issuing 12 walks and allowing five homers. That is hardly the sort of follow-up to a solid rookie campaign that the A’s had been hoping for.

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A stint in the bullpen may be what Luzardo needs to turn his season around. He has been solid as a reliever over his career, posting a 3.32 ERA and a 1.062 WHiP in his 21.2 innings, striking out 23 batters with nine walks. He has also notched two saves in his limited time in the bullpen, potentially allowing the A’s to have a viable secondary option for Lou Trivino.

Slotting Luzardo into the bullpen can have several benefits for the A’s The first is that their bullpen is in desperate need of a fresh arm. Since May 15, A’s relievers have posted a 6.56 ERA, the third worst mark in baseball. Their 6.81 K/9 rate and 53.3% strand rate are the worst in the majors in that time as the bullpen appears to be wearing down.

Luzardo can also serve as a second viable left handed option in the bullpen. While Jake Diekman has been solid this year, the A’s have not been able to find that second lefty to pair with him. Both Adam Kolarek and Reymin Guduan have struggled this year, leaving a void in the A’s relief corps. Luzardo could fix that.

Finally, this gives the A’s more of a chance to see what they have in James Kaprielian. He has been a revelation since being called up from Triple-A, allowing just three runs on ten hits and six walks over his 17.2 innings while striking out 19 batters. He certainly deserves a longer look, and the A’s will be able to give him one with Luzardo in the bullpen.

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The Oakland A’s are getting Jesus Luzardo back on Sunday. By putting him in their bullpen, the A’s will take care of several issues at once.

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