The Oakland Athletics made a roster move on Monday, recalling relief pitcher Ryan Dull from Triple-A and optioning fellow reliever Ryan Buchter down to the minors.
The A’s bullpen threw 16 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays over the last three days, though one of those frames was pitched by first baseman Kendrys Morales. With the group working overtime all weekend, Dull provides a fresh arm. The right-hander pitched in the season opener in Japan and allowed three runs, but since then he’s tossed 9 2/3 scoreless innings in Triple-A with 14 strikeouts.
After three consecutive strong seasons, Buchter has struggled to begin 2019. He’s given up six earned runs in 7 2/3 innings for a 7.04 ERA, and allowed 20 baserunners overall. Along the way, he picked up two blown saves and was hung with the loss in another game, and in addition to all that he uncorked an errant pickoff throw on Sunday that proved costly. He was the only left-hander in the pen, so all eight Oakland relievers are now righties.
The rotation will welcome a new face on Monday as well, with Chris Bassitt making his first major league start of the year. The right-hander was recalled on Wednesday when Marco Estrada went on the injured list, but he hasn’t appeared until now. He pitched 11 games for the A’s last summer, including seven starts, and posted a 3.02 ERA in 47 2/3 innings.
The Rangers will counter with starter Mike Minor. The lefty faced the A’s twice last year, allowing two runs in 11 total innings. In his most recent start on Tuesday, he threw a shutout against the Angels, and he has a 2.60 ERA through his first four outings this season.