By Jason Wojciechowski on July 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM
Trystan Magnuson has been called back up from Sacramento to take the place of Joey Devine, who's been optioned. The last I saw of Devine, he was coming out of a game clutching his back. He turned out to be fine in one sense because while I was on vacation, he pitched three times. His results were horrible, though, as he allowed four walks and three hits against just one strikeout in thirteen batters faced. Something may not be right with Devine, and it makes sense to have him figure out what that is in Sacramento rather than Oakland if it ends up not being a Disabled List issue.
Trystan Magnuson is really tall, and his fielding "independent" results are better than his ERA -- five whiffs, one walk, one homer in 27 batters. The problem is the seven hits. Five of those, though, including the one homer, came in one outing, an 11-1 loss against Minnesota. Magnuson followed that up (42 days later) with an excellent outing against Florida that nearly helped the A's come back from an early deficit. He gave up little hard contact, leading to just one hit in eleven batters.
In the end, of course, which is the real Trystan Magnuson hardly matters, and not just because the A's are [I don't even want to look] games out of first place. He's the eighth man in the bullpen1 and should only pitch if Guillermo Moscoso gets blown up again. A mopup guy on a 42-55 team is a sad thing to behold, but hey, there are probably worse jobs.
Yes, despite all this, when Joey Devine goes to Sacramento, up comes not Chris Carter or Adam Rosales or Adrian Cardenas or (after a Daric Barton 60-day DL move) Andy LaRoche or Matt Carson or Kevin Kouzmanoff or Jai Miller, but Trystan Magnuson. Not a single guy I listed is super-amazing, but c'mon, we're talking about a bench player on the *A's*.
Yes, the A's still have eight relievers despite running Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, and Gio Gonzalez out to the hill three days out of five. And despite having, in Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington, hitters at the bottom of the order for whom a team might sensibly sub in a replacement in certain situations. And despite figuring you might need to get Hideki Matsui or Josh Willingham out of left field late in a game for both defensive and old-knees reasons. And despite the worst pitcher in the bullpen, Fautino "The Mormon," being someone who's sometimes viewed (optimistically, sure, but what else do we have?) as a future closer. ↩