Oakland A’s free up roster space with Daulton Jefferies

May 13, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher pitcher Daulton Jefferies (66) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
May 13, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher pitcher Daulton Jefferies (66) delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Daulton Jefferies was supposed to be a key part of the Oakland A’s future. A former top prospect, Jefferies had battled injuries in the minors, but his plus changeup, pitchability, and excellent command made him a prospect worth watching. After a pair of brief stints in 2020 and 2021, he was ready to get an extended look and make his mark in the A’s rotation in 2022.

Those plans never came to fruition. Jefferies looked like a possible cornerstone for his first three outings before everything fell apart. He had a 5.72 ERA and a 1.373 WHiP over his 39.1 innings before landing on the Injured List, eventually undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and Tommy John surgery over the next few months.

Daulton Jefferies injury woes give Oakland A’s another roster spot

As Jefferies is going to be lost until 2024 due to having Tommy John surgery in September, it made sense to try to clear his roster spot. The A’s were able to do just that as he was outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday.

Jefferies did show flashes that he could be part of the future. He allowed just three runs, two earned, on 12 hits and three walks over his 15.1 innings, striking out nine. However, his velocity dropped in those final outings, making it clear that something was wrong.

By the time that Jefferies returns, he will already be 28 years old. He will have appeared in just 63 professional games since he was drafted in 2016 as injuries decimated his career. It will be difficult for the A’s to count on him whatsoever going forward, especially given the checkered success rate from thoracic outlet syndrome.

At the same time, this could be the first time that Jefferies is fully healthy as a professional. He will have plenty of time to have recovered from TOS while working his way back from Tommy John surgery. The 2023-24 offseason could be close to a normal one for him. If Jefferies is going to prove that he can be a part of the A’s future, 2024 may be his best, and last, chance.

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The Oakland A’s were able to pass Daulton Jefferies through waivers and off the 40 man roster. Considering his injuries, that is not a surprise.

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