The A’s dropped a bit of a shocker before today’s game against Seattle, demoting right-hander Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A Sacramento in light of his recent struggles. The move definitely caught me by surprise because, A) Rarely do we see a player sent down after rosters expand. Usually players are being added, not subtracted. And B) With the A’s seemingly out of the hunt in the AL West, it seems these final weeks should be all about evaluating young players such as Mazzaro at the major league level. Just had a phone conversation with A’s assistant GM David Forst, and he stressed this move isn’t about sending any kind of message or wake-up call to Mazzaro. He also said Mazzaro remains very much in the team’s future plans. “He’s just been inconsistent,” Forst said. “He’s had very good games where his stuff has been good and he’s pitched from ahead (in the count). Of late, he’s let the offense dictate how he pitches. We know he has talent and ability.”
Here’s a look at Mazzaro’s outing-by-outing results this season. Manager Bob Geren said the team would consider all options to fill Mazzaro’s spot in the rotation. He mentioned Boof Bonser as one option from the current roster, but added the team could promote a starter from the minors or skip Mazzaro’s next turn because of Thursday’s day off. Forst indicated that the team would definitely consider promoting a pitcher from Sacramento even though the River Cats will be starting the playoffs soon. Clayton Mortensen has pitched solidly for Sacramento all season and he’s got some big league starts under his belt. Consider him one option …
Still a shocker to me, even though Geren has been frank in his disappointment with Mazzaro’s past two starts. Until recently, Mazzaro’s development had been a major bright spot for the A’s.
Mazzaro declined to address reporters as he was leaving the Coliseum today. He was 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) with Oakland.
A’s — Crisp CF, BArton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Davis LF, Carson RF, Tolleson 3B, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.
Mariners — Ichiro RF, Figgins 2B, Gutierrez CF, Branyan DH, Lopez 3B, Kotchman 1B, Moore C, Saunders LF, Wilson SS; Vargas LHP.