Shintaro Fujinami shifts to Athletics bullpen after rough start to MLB career

A's Fujinami shifts to bullpen after rough start to MLB career originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Shintaro Fujinami will have a new role with the Athletics.

After surrendering eight runs on seven hits in just 2 1/3 innings of work against the Texas Rangers on Saturday, the 29-year-old will be coming out of the bullpen for the time being.

"We're going to put him in the pen and try to use him in a leverage role where we could watch him throw strikes and get his fastball command back," A's manager Mark Kotsay said, per's Martin Gallegos. "Not to say he can't return back into the rotation, but in the short term, we're going to assess him in that direction."

After impressing Kotsay and the rest of the A's in spring training, Fujinami was slated to be a starter for Oakland. However, things have not gone the way either party has envisioned.

In four starts, Fujinami has a 14.40 ERA and his command has been concerning, having walked the same amount of batters as he has struck out (12).

Kotsay, in particular, noted that Fujinami needed to work on his fastball command when he spoke to reporters after the A's 18-3 loss to the Rangers.

Fujinami appeared to have figured out his issues on April 15 against New York, when the right-hander held the Mets to only three runs on four hits while striking out five in six innings of work.

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By sliding Fujinami into the bullpen, the A's are hopeful that the change can prove beneficial for the team and the rookie.

And considering Oakland is in the midst of many changes, A's fans are hopeful that perhaps this is one change that might go in the team's favor.