The Athletics have made a series of roster moves; most notably among them is the DFA of right-hander Santiago Casilla. The club also selected the contract of 25-year-old righty J.B. Wendelken, while simultaneously optioning righty Ryan Dull, promoting infielder Franklin Barreto and reinstating righty Daniel Mengden from the 10-day DL.
It’s been a solid enough season for the 37-year-old Casilla on the surface, who owns a 3.16 ERA through 31 1/3 innings pitched. But his 4.08 FIP and 5.80 xFIP paint a wildly different picture. He’s also walked nearly as many hitters (20) as he’s managed to strike out (22), in part due to a career-low 9.0% swinging strike rate. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, he’s likely to go unclaimed; Casilla is in the second season of a two-year, $11MM deal, and any claiming team would be on the hook for the prorated portion of his salary. He’ll likely be given the choice to accept a minor league assignment.
Wendelken will be making his first appearance in the majors since 2016, when he tossed 12 2/3 rough innings for the Athletics to the tune of a 9.95 ERA. The right-hander ultimately required Tommy John surgery, and remained out of commission until the beginning of this season. Thus far at the Triple-A level, he’s chucked a healthy 28 1/3 innings, managing a 3.49 ERA (2.39 FIP). The most impressive part about Wendelken’s performance this year is a whopping 14.29 K/9 against just 2.54 BB/9; it certainly seems likely that he’ll prove an upgrade over Casilla.
Mengden, 25, hasn’t pitched since June 23rd after suffering a right foot sprain during a start in which he gave up five earned runs across just two innings. While Mengden certainly isn’t known as an overpowering pitcher (5.46 K/9), he limits walks (1.89 BB/9) and has posted a 4.47 ERA on the season thus far in 90 2/3 innings.