Ramon Laureano’s return from suspension meant that something had to give. He had to be added to the 40 man roster once more, with another player being designated for assignment. Adding him on the major league side was going to be easy as Stephen Piscotty was placed on the Injured List, but it was a matter of getting there.
Jorge Juan ended up becoming the sacrificial lamb for Laureano. He was designated for assignment on Sunday morning to clear up that spot for the Oakland A’s new right fielder.
Jorge Juan’s time with Oakland A’s may be at an end
The problem with designating Juan for assignment is that he is currently injured. Although the exact injury has not been disclosed, it means that he cannot be placed on regular waivers if he is unclaimed. Instead, the A’s would have to put him on release waivers, sending him back into free agency where they would have to contend with other teams to bring him back.
One can understand why there would be interest in Juan despite his injury. He was ranked as the A’s 23rd best prospect according to MLB.com, with his high octane fastball and wipeout slider giving him the makings of an intriguing bullpen arm. He does have a changeup as well, but that pitch needs a lot of refinement, as does his overall command of his arsenal.
His potential, and possible issues, could be seen in his performance last year. Juan posted a 5.40 ERA and a 1.313 WHiP in his 26.2 innings between Low-A and High-A, striking out 40 batters with 13 walks and eight wild pitches. Although he has spent most of his time in the A’s system as a starter, his stuff and command issues make a bullpen role more likely.
That potential also makes Juan the type of arm that a team could take a chance with. If he does pass through waivers, teams would certainly be intrigued by his pure stuff and possibility of being an impact arm in the right role. He will not be out of a job for long.
The Oakland A’s designated Jorge Juan for assignment to clear a spot for Ramon Laureano. His time with the A’s could be over.