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 MLB.com'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."
Kotsay: âWeâre 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. Not to say he canât return back into the rotation, but in the short term, weâre going to assess him in that direction.â
— MartÃn Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 24, 2023
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.
Mark Kotsay believes Shintaro Fujinami's lack of confidence in his fastball was the reason behind his rough outing pic.twitter.com/oBz8M83YaV
— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 23, 2023
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.