June 11, 2016
The Situation: With Rich Hill on the disabled list, Jess Hahn back in Triple-A, and the rest of the rotation in shambles, David Forst has dipped into his minor league system for starting help. He’s recalled Daniel Mengden, a 6-foot-1, 220 pound right-hander with a mustache and delivery that wouldn’t look out of place on one of Connie Mack’s old Philadelphia clubs. He is scheduled to make his debut today against Cincinnati.
Background: Mengden, who joined the Athletics organization as part of the Scott Kazmir trade, has dominated the upper minors this season. In 11 starts split between Double-A and Triple-A, he’s posted a 1.19 ERA while striking out 67 hitters and allowing 22 walks and three homers in 68 innings. He’s not as dominant as those numbers might suggest, but he’s taken a significant step forward this season, and is one of Oakland’s top pitching prospects.
Scouting Report: Mengden throws a two-seam and a four-seam fastball. He sat in the low 90s last year, but his average velocity is up a tick or two this season, and he’s reportedly been clocked as high as 96 mph. The change is Mengden’s primary offspeed weapon, and his best ones tumble sharply with a bit of fade. He replicates his arm speed well, and it’s a real swing and miss pitch when he locates effectively. He also throws a slider, a tight spinner with depth but limited break.