Monday, February 17, 2014

Oakland poaches Joe Savery

Acquired from Philadelphia after the Phillies exiled the former 19th overall 2007 draftee for Burnett, the A's have elected to have Savery compete alongside Fernando Abad for a LHP middle relief post after Eric O'Flaherty has officially been optioned off to a 60 Day DL to rehabilitate. Savery, a lefty relief specialist, converted after initially attempting to start through Philadelphia's lower minor league affiliates with mediocre results. Since then, the imposing 6'3", 235 pound Houston native has logged innings constantly between Lehigh Valley and Philly as a AAAA relieving option, with two of his options having been expended and 2014 serving as his final option campaign. Savery is an oddity primarily due to him having been a two way player throughout his minor league ascent, featuring as a first baseman to a greater extent in 2011 with 271 PAs and a .294/.354/.404 slash alongside three dingers to coincide with his 36 frames logged upon the mound. It would be his only campaign with a greater reverence on transitioning to a positional player, despite amassing multiple plate appearances in every single MiLB season for him (116 PAs outside of 2011, only eight since his shift). Upon the mound, the unique 28 year old wields primary 91-93 velocity sitting more consistently in the 87-89 range with a peak of 95 in certain instances, additionally bolstering that with a plus changeup and passable curveball. It has since been announced he shall compete versus Fernando Abad for Oakland's third LHP bullpen post behind Doolittle and Gregerson come March 31st, and Savery possesses opening day experience after commencing upon Philly's roster in 2012. 

Savery has had an essentially dismal MLB career since his debut stint in 2011, accumulating 47 2/3 IP with an abysmal -0.2 fWAR and 4.35 FIP to boot. Through Lehigh Valley however, Savery has been somewhat consistent with a 82:24 K/BB and 5 HR surrendering in a cumulative 72 innings all while producing a sub 3.50 FIP since his relieving conversation in 2011. Having undergone a reverse Sean Doolittle and then a conventional conversion once more over the previous half decade, Savery most certainly shall service Oakland's versatility quotient and possibly become a LOOGY exclusive commodity. Savery has 17 1/3 IP accumulated pitted against major league lefties, with peculiar outcomes between his nine punchouts, two walks permitted, and two dingers between 71 batters faced, thus not featuring any blatantly favorable splits in an exclusive post. Abad, being out of options and recently completing a sensational Caribbean campaign between 17 appearances with zero walks distributed, has the advantage over the often inconsistent Savery and in all likelihood he'll be flown towards Sacramento and don a Rivercats uniform. This further exacerbates the A's overtly bursting pitching contingent between their PCL and Texas League affiliates though, with his inclusion preventing another Rockhound from commencing with the kittens or possibly bumping a Deryk Hooker or Jeremy McBryde to Midland. Regardless, Savery shouldn't last for a considerably lengthy amount of time, now flanking Andy Parrino as one of the more likely representatives to be axed upon O'Flaherty's return or should another acquisition require a roster position. However, maybe the Athletics could experiment with Savery's positional résumé, likely also becoming an emergency bench piece within California's capital. Unless he has a mindboggling spring or an injury arises, Savery ought to remain an anonymous name amongst the A's fanbase, despite having an extraordinarily intriguing background that oozes of a traditional "gritty" or "underdog" A's narrative that would service him greatly if he actually latches onto the Athletics. 

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