Oakland A claim pitcher Sam Selman hasn’t waived the Los Angeles Angels

The Oakland A’s have plenty of spots to fill on their 2022 pitching squad, and now they’ve added one more candidate to the roster.

The relief pitcher claimed by the A’s Sam Selman excluding Angels waivers, the team announced Sunday. He joins Oakland’s 40-man roster, which now has 35 players.

Southpaw Selman has appeared in the majors each of the last three years, but it’s taken him a long time to get there. He was drafted in 2012 by the Royals and waited out his eighth professional season to make his MLB debut, with the Giants in 2019. The following summer he was quite good in a few dozen games for San Francisco, during the shortened pandemic year, and then last July, they traded it to the angels at the deadline.

  • Selman, MLB career: 4.77 ERA, 54⅔ ip, 52 Ks, 27 BB, 7 HR, 4.92 FIP

Those numbers might sell it a bit short. He lit up at Anaheim late last year, but before that he had always been a solid player for the Giants, where his 4.06 ERA was slightly better than the league average (106 ERA +). In 2020 it was even better than that, with powerful peripherals and sharp Statcast marks to match, and it picked up a save along the way.

  • Selman, GFS 2020: 3.72 ERA, 19⅓ ip, 23 Ks, 9 BB, 2 HR, 3.86 FIP, .269 xwOBA

Sadly, he didn’t repeat that success in 2021, especially with the Halos, where his ERA rose to 6.35 and his strikeout rate dropped in 18 games. Now the 31-year-old will be looking to get back on track in another change of scenery.

In terms of hardware, Selman uses two pitches, a four-seam fastball and a slider. The heater averages around 91 mph and has so far hit 93.7 in the majors, while the slider sits at around 80 mph and can do a decent job without bats. In 2020 he used that slider 60% of the time, but last year it dropped to 45% as he relied on the fastball a bit more.

Here is a preview of some videos from 2020:

Some additional excerpts:

Almost all of the information above suggests that Selman is a LOOGY, but whether that’s the case remains to be seen. So far in his small-draw MLB career, his squad splits are even, and they’ve been inconsistent over the last few years in the minors, sometimes showing success against right-handed hitters or left-handed hitters or both. . The smart bet is that he’ll be better against southpaws, but that doesn’t necessarily preclude him from being able to handle a full innings at a time, like he often did for the Giants.

To analyse

Selman is an MLB-caliber left-handed reliever, and the A’s have him for free, from a division rival no less. It suits me well !

Normally, I wouldn’t brag about taking a pitcher from the Angels, but Selman seems to have been a perfectly usable arm for most of the past few years. Not a prepper or anything, but someone you don’t mind having on the depth chart and using in MLB games. Teams need a lot of them, and some teams pay real world resources to get them.

Also, the A’s have been particularly short of southpaws lately, so a new southpaw is a welcome sight. The top left reliever on the depth chart yesterday was Sam Mollexcept for the odd occasion when AJ Puk is healthy, so for now Selman takes over as Oakland’s best in that department. He also has a minor league option left, so he offers some flexibility in the roster if needed.

As for the rest of the bullpen, Lou Trivino and Deolis Guerra remain, although Trivino may still be distributed. Otherwise, it’s wide open, with a growing list of weapons to choose from, but no guarantees anywhere. Domingo Acevedo is back for another try, there are a few young starters who could make more sense in relief, and some prospects are closing in on debuts, as well as a handful of new minor league free agents to try out.

Whether Selman is a contributor or not is almost irrelevant. To build the depth of the bullpen, you go for a dozen Selmans and hope a few of them stay. That said, the real Selman looks like a nifty addition with a reputation for being very helpful, and they got it for free without having to commit to extra pay or trade prospects.

Welcome to Oakland!

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