Daulton Jefferies was expected to be the Next Man Up for the Oakland A’s. He had made a start already this year, getting the call as the A’s needed to find someone when James Kaprielian had missed a start. With Chris Bassitt having been struck by a line drive, the expectation had been that Jefferies would get the call.
Instead, the A’s brought up Paul Blackburn. Blackburn has served as solid depth at Triple-A over the years, but has limited upside on a major league staff. While he throws plenty of strikes and has a strong ground ball rate, he does not miss many bats, limiting his effectiveness.
Time for Daulton Jefferies to get a longer look
In this case, Blackburn likely received the call for two reasons. First, with his ground ball ways, it is possible that he can eat innings, helping to rest an Oakland bullpen that had an expectedly long day at the ballpark on Tuesday. Second, Jefferies had pitched last on Sunday, and would not be ready to go when Blackburn took the ball on Wednesday.
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Daulton, however, does have the type of upside that could make him a part of the A’s future in the rotation. His pinpoint command allows his otherwise pedestrian stuff to play up, making him an intriguing option as a part of a pitching staff. He has proven that to be the case in the minors, issuing just 1.2 walks per nine innings while striking out 9.8 per nine in his 170.1 innings.
Although he has not had that same success at the major league level, his one outing in 2021 was promising. He allowed just three runs on three hits and three walks in his five innings of work, striking out three batters. That outing was a drastic improvement from his debut in 2020, when he allowed five runs in just two innings.
Now it is time for Daulton to get a longer look. He could slot into Bassitt’s spot in the rotation, giving the A’s a chance to see if he can be a part of the future. If he performs well, that future could come a bit sooner than expected.
The door is open for Daulton Jefferies to get a longer look at the major league level. He could get a chance to prove that he is a part of the future.