Sometimes the life of a player with a minor-league option remaining just isn’t fair.
Dan Otero has been fantastic out of Oakland’s bullpen this season, going 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 71 innings while walking a grand total of nine batters. But the A’s needed to make roster room for outfielder Craig Gentry’s return from the disabled list and because Otero has an option remaining he was the choice to be demoted to Triple-A.
He’ll no doubt be back when rosters expand in September, but for a 29-year-old with a career 2.35 ERA in 122 innings as a major leaguer it’s gotta be a tough situation.
The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.
Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.
In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.
The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.