Oakland Athletics: Blake Treinen turning his season around after trade

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Blake Treinen
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: Blake Treinen /

Joining a depleted Oakland Athletics bullpen, Blake Treinen’s resurgence on the mound is helping fill in the hole left behind by Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.

Without any hope of catching the Houston Astros in the AL West, it looks as if the Oakland Athletics are bound for their third consecutive last-place finish. Yet, their bullpen appears to be managing well after trading Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals with the resurgence of Blake Treinen.

Prior to this year, Treinen put in three strong seasons for the Nationals. From 2014-2016, he recorded a 2.91 ERA and averaged 62 innings per season. With the Nationals, Treinen became familiar with nearly every role in the bullpen.

Along with seven starts, Treinen worked in the middle innings as a reliever in 2014. The following year, he pitched in short relief to become the setup man in 2016. However, when he stepped into the role of closer for the Nationals this season, it did not go as he hoped.

More from Call to the Pen

Treinen struggled along with the rest of Washington’s bullpen earlier in 2017, starting the season 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA. Their struggles in the late innings prompted the Nationals to trade Treinen to the Oakland Athletics, in exchange for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson.

The Athletics originally drafted Treinen in 2011, but eventually traded him to the Nationals after a year in their minor league system. Now, Treinen returns to the Athletics and is turning his season around.

Since rejoining the Athletics, he leads the bullpen with a 2.65 ERA in an Oakland uniform. In 17 innings pitched, he recorded four saves in seven opportunities with 19 strikeouts. On Sunday Treinen tossed the eighth and ninth innings in Houston, allowing one hit and striking out three en route to the save.

In his small sample with Oakland, Treinen’s walk rate has stayed steady at 3.2 per nine, while his walk rate has shot up from 7.6 per nine to 10.1. At the same time, his hits per nine has gone down from 11.5 to 6.9.

Next: Should Atlanta Braves try to deal for Reds’ Adam Duvall?

Although Santiago Casilla, Oakland’s current closer, is signed through 2018, his disastrous go at 2017 throws his job into jeopardy. Thus far, Casilla is 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA with only 16 saves in 23 opportunities. If his success were to continue, Treinen could see himself take over the closing role and increase his value as a reliever.