It made sense that the Oakland A’s slotted Jesus Luzardo in the bullpen when he returned from the Injured list. The A’s wanted to see what they had in James Kaprielian, and Luzardo had found success out of the bullpen before. With the bullpen having been overworked at times, having someone such as Luzardo who could fire multiple innings can make a major difference.
Luzardo had quickly worked his way to an important role in the bullpen when he first came to the majors. He notched two saves and two holds in his six games in 2019, earning the trust of Bob Melvin. That trust even included his outing in the Wild Card Game, when Luzardo entered and fired three shutout innings against the Rays.
Jesus Luzardo getting important role once again
Luzardo is starting to find his way back into an important role in the A’s bullpen. He has already fired six innings as a reliever, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out nine. Although he had a rough outing at Coors Field on Saturday, Luzardo is starting to look like himself once more.
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He is already starting to find his way to an important role in the bullpen for Melvin. While his ability to pitch multiple innings is an asset in its own right, Luzardo also has the potential to dominate in a relief role. He did just that on June 1, allowing just three baserunners over three innings while striking out six to earn the victory.
Melvin turned to Luzardo again on Saturday, asking him to protect the A’s four run lead in Colorado. Luzardo allowed two runs in the seventh inning, but bounced right back to fire a scoreless eighth before turning to game over to Lou Trivino. That ability to shake off the rough inning and shut down the opposition is exactly what the A’s bullpen needs.
Chances are, Luzardo’s time in the bullpen will be temporary. There will eventually be a need in the rotation once again, and he will get his chance to return. But until that happens, there is a role for him in relief, and it is a role that will expand as time goes on.
Jesus Luzardo is already starting to fill an important role in the Oakland A’s bullpen. Considering how he was used in 2019, this is not a surprise.