OAKLAND — The Oakland Athletics called up pitcher Daniel Mengden from Triple-A on Sunday, and he’ll make his season debut this afternoon in a start against the Cleveland Indians.
Mengden pitched 22 games for the A’s last year, including 17 starts, and he posted a 4.05 ERA and threw a shutout — one of only two by the A’s in 2018. The right-hander opened this season in Triple-A Last Vegas and looked great through seven games there, with a 2.77 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning.
Mengden can thank Mike Fiers for the opportunity. After Fiers threw 131 pitches in his no-hitter on Tuesday, the team decided to push his next start back to Monday to give him an extra day of rest, opening the door for Mengden to come up and make a spot appearance.
To make room for Mengden on the roster, reliever J.B. Wendelken was optioned to Triple-A. Widely seen as a breakout candidate entering the season, the right-hander has struggled to find consistency so far, posting a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings.
Meanwhile, the lineup welcomes back a familiar face as well, with Khris Davis returning to action. Davis suffered a hip contusion last Sunday in Pittsburgh when he banged into a wall while making a catch in left field. He tried to return on Wednesday but was pulled again mid-game, and then sat out the next three contests.
However, Matt Chapman is not in the lineup on Sunday. The third baseman is simply getting an off-day, and Chad Pinder is playing third base in his stead.
Davis, Pinder, and the rest of the A’s hitters will face Indians starter Jefry Rodriguez. The right-hander has never pitched against Oakland before, but has been sharp in three starts for Cleveland this year, with a 2.41 ERA in 18 2/3 innings.
The A’s are looking for a sweep of the Indians on Sunday, after taking the first two games of the series. Both wins came in walk-off fashion, with a 12th-inning homer by Chapman on Friday and a ninth-inning RBI single by Ramon Laureano on Saturday.