Jesse Chavez‘s season-ending rib injury convinced the A’s they needed some extra pitching help down the stretch and they’ve called up 37-year-old left-hander Barry Zito for his first big-league action since 2013.
Zito came out of retirement in an attempt to make the A’s out of spring training, but failed to grab a spot on the pitching staff and spent all season in the rotation at Triple-A Nashville.
He wasn’t particularly good at Triple-A, posting a 3.46 ERA and 91/60 K/BB ratio in 138 innings, and when rosters expanded for September the A’s said they had no plans to call up the 37-year-old former Cy Young winner.
Chavez’s injury opens up a spot for Zito and with the A’s in last place this at least gives fans a little something to be interested in. Zito spent the first seven seasons of his career in Oakland, making three All-Star teams and winning one Cy Young award while going 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA in 222 starts. He left as a free agent following the 2006 season, signing a massive, ill-fated long-term deal with the Giants.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.
Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.
“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”
The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.
Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.
Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.
Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.
The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.