Adam Oller will make his major league debut Tuesday night when the Oakland Athletics visit the Tampa Bay Rays for game two of their four-game series in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The 27-year-old Oller was traded from the Mets to the A’s on March 12 in a deal that sent Oakland starter Chris Bassitt to New York. He then caught an additional break when the A’s sent another starter, Sean Manaea, to the San Diego Padres in the last week of camp, allowing Oller to make the Opening Day roster as the team’s No. 5 starter.
“I’ll be honest, that was something I never thought I would hear in my career,” said Oller. “Just with all the ups and downs that I’ve had, it was a very surreal moment.”
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Oller struggled some in spring training, yielding seven runs on 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings over three outings.
However, in 44 innings over eight starts at Triple-A Syracuse last season, the right-hander from Conroe, Texas was 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He allowed just 27 hits and fanned 43.
Meanwhile, the Rays endured a brutal day Monday, as nothing went right for them, starting hours before the first pitch of their 13-2 pounding at the hands of the A’s.
Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, slated to start Tuesday, was placed on the 10-day injured list earlier in the day with a groin ailment. Then, 13 pitches into the top of the first inning, a second starter, Luis Patino, was removed with an oblique strain.
“We’ve kind of grown accustomed to that over the years,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. “We’ll mix and match, rely on our depth and try to find ways to get creative to help us prevent runs from scoring.”
Thirteen proved to be an unlucky number in the Rays’ first defeat of the season: They allowed 13 runs and 13 hits, while striking out 13 times against Oakland’s pitching.
Promising prospect Tommy Romero will take Yarbrough’s turn in the rotation — joining Oller in a matchup of two hurlers making their big-league debut Tuesday.
Romero, 24, was outstanding during his minor-league career, posting a 37-11 record with 2.52 ERA with stints in the Seattle and Tampa Bay organizations.
In 407 innings pitched, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native yielded just 306 hits, while striking out 431.
He was 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA with Triple-A Durham and Double-A Montgomery in the Rays’ system last season.
The Athletics’ Elvis Andrus singled, doubled and homered in the series opener, while Seth Brown contributed a three-run homer for the A’s. Sheldon Neuse blasted a late grand slam as Oakland put up four runs in the first, second and ninth innings in handing the Rays their first loss of the season.
Wander Franco went 3-of-4 and scored both runs for Tampa Bay. The 21-year-old Dominican has registered three hits in three of the first four games for the Rays. He is 9-for-15 on the young season after hitting .314 after the All-Star break in 2021.
–Field Level Media