Wendelken posted a 2.61 ERA over his first 10 1/3 innings of the season before a couple of shaky outings preceded a stay of almost two months on the injured list due to an oblique strain. Over 25 relief innings this year, Wendelken has a 4.32 ERA/4.29 SIERA and a below-average 22.2% strikeout rate, though a .355 BABIP has been working against him. Wendelken has continued his trend of keeping the ball in the park by allowing only two homers this year.
Apart from a 2017 season wiped out by Tommy John surgery, Wendelken has appeared in five of the last six MLB seasons, all with the A’s. The 28-year-old has been quite solid over most of his 112 career innings in the Show, including an excellent 1.80 ERA over 25 frames out of Oakland’s bullpen last season.
With teams perpetually in need of relief pitching down the stretch, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another club make a waiver claim on a pitcher who is controllable (through 2024) and has had such recent success at the big league level. Wendelken is out of options, so the Athletics’ hand was forced in having to DFA him rather than just option him to the minors.
Puk pitched in one game for the A’s before being placed on the 10-day injured list due to a biceps strain. After being reinstated from the IL and sent to the minors, Puk got off to a brutal start at Triple-A but has since settled down — the southpaw has a 1.64 ERA over his last 22 innings, following a ghastly 11.50 ERA in his first 18 frames. Long considered one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, Puk’s star has been dimmed by multiple injuries, though the A’s will give him another look to see if he can contribute to their bullpen during the pennant race.