Although the Oakland A’s had several questions in their bullpen, the closer role appeared to be fairly well set. Lou Trivino was expected to continue in that role despite his hiccups last year. If he faltered, then A.J. Puk was likely considered the next in line.
Instead, that changing of the guard may be happening quietly. Dany Jimenez has notched the A’s last two saves while providing strong outings virtually every time. Trivino had not been close to dominant prior to landing on the Injured List, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks over his 3.2 innings, leaving the door open for someone to seize the opportunity.
Dany Jimenez taking advantage of opportunity
Jimenez is doing just that. He has yet to allow a run in his six innings of work, striking out nine while permitting four hits and two walks. After years of intriguing as a Rule V Draft choice, and eventually returning to the A’s as a minor league free agent, he is showing that maybe all he needed was an extended opportunity to prove himself in the majors.
He showed his potential during his time in Triple-A last year. Jimenez posted a 2.22 ERA and a 1.209 WHiP in his 44.2 innings, striking out 73 batters. However, his flaws were apparent as well, as Jimenez walked 25 batters as well.
That has been the caveat to his career. Jimenez has the pure stuff to intrigue and could handle a key role in the bullpen if he threw enough strikes. That has been the case so far in 2022 as he has quickly ascended to an important role in the A’s relief corps. It is also entirely possible that, if he continues to throw strikes, his time as their closer will not be ending any time soon.
Dany Jimenez is taking advantage of his chances with the Oakland A’s. He may not leave their closer role any time soon.