The Athletics announced today that outfielder JJ Bleday has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, with fellow outfielder Conner Capel optioned to Vegas in a corresponding move. Bleday is in tonight’s lineup, batting fifth and playing left field.
This will be the first appearance as an Athletic for Bleday, who came over from the Marlins this winter in a one-for-one trade with A.J. Puk going the other way. The fourth overall selection of the 2019 draft, Bleday has been considered one of the top prospects in the league but has had an inconsistent professional career thus far. He struggled in Double-A in 2021 but hit well enough in Triple-A last year to get a 65-game audition in the big leagues. He walked in 12.6% of his plate appearances in the majors but also struck out 28.2% of the time and slashed .167/.277/.309 for a wRC+ of 72.
The Marlins decided to move on from him and flipped him for Puk, but Bleday is making some noise so far this year. In 119 plate appearances in Triple-A, he’s walked more than he’s struck out, a 16.8% rate of free passes compared to just a 12.6% clip for the punchouts. His .316/.429/.643 batting line needs to be taken with a grain of salt because he’s playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but it’s still 50% above league average, as shown by his 150 wRC+.
Bleday will now see if he can fare better against major league pitchers this year than he did last year. If he’s able to play well enough to stick around, it could have ramifications on the business side of things. Bleday earned 75 days of service time with the Marlins last year, meaning he’s 97 shy of the 172 that are required to get to the one-year mark. With about five months left in the season, there’s still a chance for him to get over the line and be on track for arbitration after 2025 and free agency after 2028. However, future optional assignments could push those targets back.
If Bleday does hit the ground running and emerge as a key piece for the A’s, it doesn’t currently seem like the Marlins will have too much regret. Puk has been absolutely lights out so far this year, posting a 0.75 ERA through 12 innings pitched, striking out 27.1% of batters faced while walking just 4.2%. That performance seems to have vaulted him into the closer’s seat, as he’s racked up five saves on the year so far.
Turning back to Bleday, he’ll jump into the outfield mix in Oakland next to some other players looking to prove themselves. Rookie Esteury Ruiz is getting most of the playing time in center while Ramón Laureano is the regular in right, looking to get back into a groove after his PED suspension and shaky return last year. Brent Rooker is also in the mix, having a tremendous season at the plate thus far, but has been frequently in the designated hitter slot of late.
Am I the only one who reads his name to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “Lay, Lady, Lay”? Missed opportunity if that isn’t his walk-up song.
Well, I will now. Thank you for that.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
The Beatles came to my mind;
Ob-La-Di, Oh Bleday
Life goes on, brah
Signing veterans Aledyms Diaz, Jace Peterson, and Jesus Aguilar has not panned-out and those 3 are only blocking Younger players from getting looks.
So I’m all for Bleday, Jordan Diaz and Nick Allen getting more playing time since those Vets are under-performing.
JJ Bleday? Recalled today? You don’t say! He’ll get to play. Right by the Bay.
He just may
But will he stay? Time to see if he can find a way.
He’ll have the chance to make some hay, as they say.
Traded for Puk? Nice one, Beannie. I’ll bet the fan in the stands won’t like this one (I noticed paid attendance last night was listed at 2,583 … there must have been 2,581 Mariner fans there!)
Billy Beane hasn’t been running the team for a few years now. He’s busy helping Fisher run his San Jose Earthquakes soccer team.
By the way, why are you always bashing A’s fans? How about aiming your criticism at the Team’s owner John Fisher? Fisher is the reason their are no Fans in the stands. He traded away the best players and then Increased Ticket prices afterwards.
As an avid athletics and giants fan (giants more so in my house) I can’t agree with Mr green more. We have been completely alienated as a fan base, it’s so god damn upsetting that guy Fisher is a real dick. Planning my final trip to the coliseum this season and that will wrap up my fan hood can’t see following this team and owner to Las Vegas it’s too similar to the bad ownership that plagued the kings throughout my youth that forced me to only follow the warriors. Here we are 20 years later and the kings finally are getting it together with different owners let’s just hope the shift in Las Vegas doesn’t take as long. Sadly I don’t see this owner selling anytime soon and he is just completely ruining any experience in Oakland and seems not to care one bit. Remove is revenue sharing. Hopefully bleday can be worth at least 1 war because then they would have 4!
Tomorrow’s Breaking News: Athletics trade JJ Bleday for a couple of prospects and a player to be named later or cash.
Too late, he’s already been traded for a Vegas escort service voucher and a carton of parliaments.
Another dumb move by the A’s. I’m numb to it. I hate John Fisher
How is it a dumb move by the A’s?
Trading puk who was once a top prospect and finally started the figure it out for a failed prospect. I get his point they used to make trades that paid off, that hasn’t happened in awhile. Usually there would be logic in remaining options , that logic’s just not found as often these days when rummaging through past transactions of theirs.
“I love when baseball players names rhyme” Ed Head 1942