James Kaprielian could give Oakland A’s a boost soon

Sep 27, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Oakland Athletics reliever James Kaprielian (32) delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The Mariners won 13-4. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Oakland Athletics reliever James Kaprielian (32) delivers a pitch during a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The Mariners won 13-4. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Oakland A’s have been one of the more pleasant surprises in baseball heading into the second full week of the season. Despite gutting their roster and jettisoning most of their better players, the A’s were able to pull off a .500 road trip against three teams with playoff aspirations.

As impressive as that start was, the A’s could still use reinforcements from within. One of those pieces could return soon, as James Kaprielian made his first rehab appearance on April 15. Should his assignment proceed as hoped, he could make his 2022 debut in late April.

Oakland A’s could get James Kaprielian back soon

Kaprielian performed well in his first outing for the Stockton Ports. He needed just 52 pitches to breeze through five innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six batters. While it is concerning that both runs came via the homer, his fly ball tendencies are mitigated somewhat by pitching in the Coliseum.

He certainly showed what he was capable of last season. Kaprielian emerged as a solid middle of the rotation arm for the A’s, posting a solid 4.07 ERA and a 1.223 WHiP over his 119.1 innings. He struck out 123 batters while issuing 41 walks, showing signs that he could live up to the high billing he had as a prospect before injuries derailed his progression.

The A’s are going to need that to be the case. Kaprielian is going to be a key part of their future going forward and may be asked to step in as the staff ace as soon as when Frankie Montas is traded away. Even if that is something that is some time away, having Kaprielian back will be a boost for a team that is already off to an unexpectedly strong start.

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James Kaprielian had a strong outing as he began his minor league rehab assignment. He could be back with the Oakland A’s relatively soon.

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