OAKLAND -– The A’s will stick with Jason Hammel in their starting rotation, giving a vote of confidence to a pitcher who has struggled mightily since being acquired in early July.
That decision means Jesse Chavez, who enjoyed a strong first half but has faded some of late, will return to the bullpen and serve as a jack-of-all trades reliever.
Evan Scribner, who was out of minor league options, was designated for assignment to clear a spot in the ‘pen.
Hammel is 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts since coming over from the Chicago Cubs on July 5, but A’s G.M. Billy Beane hinted Thursday that the team would give Hammel longer to right himself.
Manager Bob Melvin reiterated that position before Friday’s game against Kansas City.
“His track record would suggest we have to be a little more patient with him,” Melvin said. “And I think good things are going to come from him. It has not to this point, and no one feels worse about it than him. But you don’t have a 2.9 era or whatever it was, and not give a guy a chance to prove himself here.”
Hammel was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts with Chicago before the trade. It is worth pointing out, however, that he’s struggled in the second half over his career, posting a 13-32 record and 5.48 ERA after the All-Star break.
Chavez will serve as the long reliever, but Melvin said he won’t hesitate to use him in other spots to take some of the workload off Dan Otero and the other right-handers.
Chavez joined the rotation in spring training after season-ending injuries to Jarrod Parker nad A.J. Griffin. He took news of his removal from the rotation in stride.
“We wouldn’t be having this conversation if we didn’t have the misfortune of Grffin and Parker going down. I was prepared to be a long guy and I’m still prepared to be a long guy. I’m going from a great rotation to a great bullpen.”