Oakland News: Official, As Athletics reinstate some notable members of the team but

Oakland News: Official, As Athletics reinstate Zack Gelof, option Lawrence Butler

Miami Marlins v Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics announced today that reliever Easton Lucas and rookie outfielder Lawrence Butler will be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, while pitching prospect Brady Basso and Zack Gelof will be promoted to the main league roster. Gelof is coming off the 10-day injured list, and Basso is being called up to the major leagues for the first time, all the way from Double-A Midland.

Zack Gelof was brought back from the 10-day disabled list by the Oakland A’s, and Brady Basso, a left-handed pitcher, was called up from Double-A Midland. Additionally, the A’s optioned outfielder Lawrence Butler and left-handed pitcher Easton Lucas to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Oakland A’s Communications (@AthleticsPR) May 14, 2024

This requires a lot of analysis. We were aware that Gelof would probably visit the club again during this series. Though he has been playing well at 2B, Abraham Toro (.297 AVG, 12th in the AL) will now be relegated to a utility role since Gelof is less likely to miss games.

However, it was unclear who would be left off the roster after Gelof returned. Butler appears to have been selected by the front office as the loser in this round of musical chairs. Although his 170/.273/.264 line suggests that the choice is justified, his underlying figures provide evidence to the contrary. Following a season in which he walked in only 3.1% of his major league plate appearances, he has nearly doubled that percentage to an above-average 12.4%.

In addition, his Statcast data suggests that he is among the league’s unluckiest hitters. Statcast believes he’s considerably better with a.320 xwOBA, along with a strong.227 xBA and.404 xSLG, despite a dismal.252 wOBA. Based on a minimum of 100 PAs, the discrepancy between his projected and actual performance ranks him as the sixth least fortunate hitter in the league. Butler will eventually make his way back, despite the fact that the move is sure to anger many, if not all, of A’s supporters—especially with a struggling Seth Brown still retaining his position. In addition, it will be interesting to watch if his statcast numbers begin to come true in the Coors-like atmosphere of Las Vegas.

Lawrence Butler with a four-bagger of 445 feet!tweet.com/Vtx7VbPe68

MLB April 13, 2024 (@MLB)

Regarding the pitching side of things, Basso will be called up to the major leagues with just one poor start at Triple-A. Shortly after, he was relegated back down to Midland, but an increasing number of rotational injuries have forced Estes and now Basso into the major league mix.

Basso, then 19 years old, made a fantastic rookie level debut after being selected with little fanfare in the 16th round of the 2019 draft. In 25 2 1/3 innings, he struck out 38 hitters and only gave up 8 walks with a 1.75 ERA. After the epidemic destroyed the 2020 minor league seasons and Basso had Tommy John surgery in 2021, he hasn’t been able to pitch in many games since.

Upon his eventual comeback in May 2023, the southpaw gradually strengthened his arm at High-A Lansing, pitching 44 1 1/3 innings at an astounding 2.64 ERA with a 26% K-rate and a 6.4% BB-rate. In order to shield him from the Rule 5 Draft, the A’s added Basso to their 40-man roster over the offseason after promoting him to Double-A in mid-August, where he continued to dominate. Oakland may thus option the struggling Lucas back to the minors and call him up without having to remove anyone by the 40-man roster.

This is a tweet showing gratitude for Brady Basso: With more than 9,000 spectators, three scoreless innings and four strikeouts were recorded.snapchat.com/ANh8I4vRbO

May 31, 2023, Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts)

Basso is now the 21st-best prospect for the A’s, according to MLB Pipeline, which highlights his good control metrics and good variety of pitches:

Earlier in his career, Basso’s fastball was touching 98 mph at one point. He currently reaches his maximum velocity of approximately 94 mph with the heater, a wipeout curveball in the mid-70s, a cutter in the mid-80s that produces ground balls and swing-and-miss, and an ever-improving changeup. This offers him a strong starting mix of lefties.

It remains to be seen if that will translate to the major league level, but Basso has the make-up to be another undiscovered talent that could contribute to the A’s current and future success.

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