Jo-Jo Reyes hasn't had a very good start to the season. Before spring training started, I really didn't think he had a chance to make the team. I'm not a fan of the idea that you keep a guy just because he is out of options, but Reyes had a good spring and I saw him have a good game against the Yankees near the end of spring. Two guys made the pitching staff just because they were out of options, Reyes and David Purcey. Purcey's gone now, though it might be worth noting that he has pitched 4.1 innings for the A's and has given up no hits, 1 walk and struck out 3. Maybe 2.1 innings was too small a sample to give up on him? But he did have a lousy spring and John Farrell had to have lost confidence in him (insert Gillette joke here).
I think it's safe to say us fans have lost what ever confidence we had in Jo-Jo. He is 0-2 in 5 starts, with a 5.48 ERA (helped along by that iffy error last night. In 23 innings he has walked 9, struck out 19 and only given up 1 home run. All those things sound pretty good. The not so good side is: he has given up 33 hits in those 23 innings. The BABIP gods hate him to a .400 rate, helped along by a 21.3% line drive rate, but even so, you would think more balls would find gloves. He is getting no luck on balls in play, but on the flip side he is getting a lot of luck on keeping the ball in the park.
FIP likes him: 3.64. xFIP doesn't hate him: 4.66. Makes sense, he isn't walking way too many guys and he isn't giving up home runs.
He had made 5 starts for us. One was good: 7 innings, 1 earned. One was poor: 7 innings, 4 earned. Three were terrible: 3.1, 3.0 and 2.2 innings. We have won 2 of his 5 starts.
What would I do? Likely DFA him. He lives on a (Gillette) razor thin edge when things are going well. He has to pound the bottom of the strike zone. He has to get the calls at the bottom of the strike zone. If either of those things don't happen, things go bad quick.
Who would I call up? Right now? Brad Mills. He has a 2.67 ERA in 4 PCL starts. He has thrown 27 innings, given up 21 hits, 8 walks, has 19 strikeouts and has only given up 1 home run. That isn't easy in the PCL. I think, if the Jays were patient with him, he could be a decent 5th starter. If you care, I think he is in his last option year, so next year we'd be in the same boat with him as we are with Jo-Jo.
If not him, Scott Richmond is doing ok in Vegas too, 3 starts, 4.85 ERA and he has had some success with us. He has had pretty large splits but then some pitchers do and have successful careers.
You could also move Carlos Villanueva, who has been great in the long relief role, into the rotation. He went 3.1 last night and didn't appear to be straining himself. I would kind of like to leave him in that role but if he can pitch like this as a starter, he'd be more valuable to the team.
Zach Stewart is a possibility too, but he isn't on the 40-man (though if you DFA Reyes, we have a spot) and you would have to shut him down before the end of the season. He does have a 2.92 ERA in New Hampshire after 4 starts.