Oakland A’s land bullpen help in Andrew Chafin
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s had been looking to improve their relief corps prior to the trade deadline. While they have had solid contributions from the back of their bullpen, and Sergio Romo has started to pitch much better of late, there are still plenty of openings. Additionally, the A’s need to find another left handed option, as Jake Diekman has been the only useful lefty in the bullpen.
That is set to change. According to reports, the A’s are set to acquire Andrew Chafin from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for outfielder Greg Deichmann and another minor leaguer.
Andrew Chafin fills major void for Oakland A’s
Chafin had been a solid addition to the Cubs’ bullpen despite their approach of minimizing the amount of money they have spent on relievers. He had posted a 2.06 ERA and a 0.839 WHiP in his 39.1 innings, striking out 37 batters with just 12 walks.
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His groundball tendencies will work perfectly with the A’s infield. He has a 49.5% groundball rate thus far, as his one homer allowed shows the difficulty in lifting the ball against him. Opponents have managed a meager .154/.233/.228 batting line against him in 150 plate appearances as he has been a true weapon in the Cubs’ bullpen.
He is not just a lefty specialist either. While he has held left handed batters to a .164/.250/.197 batting line, he has been even better against righties. Right handed hitters have been held to a .147/.220/.253 batting line, although they do have six of the seven extra base hits that Chafin has allowed.
In exchange, the A’s are sending outfielder Greg Deichmann to Chicago. He has produced a solid .300/.432/.449 batting line in Triple-A this season, hitting four homers and 13 doubles while stealing seven bases in his 257 plate appearances. He has plenty of raw power, but it has not translated to game action, especially this year. That may also be due to a change in approach at the plate, as his 49 walks thus far are the most he has had in any professional season. With his ability to play all three outfield positions and ability to hit righties, Deichmann may settle in as a platoon player or a fourth outfielder.
The Oakland A’s have begun getting the pieces they need to fix the bullpen. Andrew Chafin fills a major void amongst their relief corps.