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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Oakland A’s send very surprising player down to Triple-A

Oakland As hat

May 26, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics baseball hat on the field of play during the third inning after the called third strike of Oakland Athletics designated hitter Jed Lowrie (not pictured) at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics are pulling a real head-scratcher.

The A’s announced on Monday that they are sending outfielder Esteury Ruiz down to Triple-A Las Vegas. They are activating infielder Tyler Nevin, who was just claimed off waivers from Baltimore, in a corresponding move.

That is a pretty stunning move with Ruiz, who made 132 appearances for them last season and led the American League in stolen bases with 67. Ruiz also had an excellent performance during Oakland’s opening series against Cleveland, logging three hits (including two extra-base hits) with two runs scored and an RBI. All in all, Ruiz was batting .429 to begin the year.

Perhaps the only possible explanation is that Ruiz is a shoddy defender in the outfield while the A’s have veterans JJ Bleday and Seth Brown plus 23-year-old phenom Lawrence Butler ready to step in. But the sudden move by Oakland to demote their popular leadoff hitter won’t do much to appease their beyond-disillusioned fanbase right now.

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