The 2008 season saw former Braves first round selection Joey Devine break out to the tune of a 0.59 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 45.2 innings for the Oakland Athletics. How has he followed that up? Unfortunately for Devine, he’s spent the last two years rehabbing from Tommy John surgery he had in April of 2009. Finally able to pitch in professional baseball games again this year, a return to the parent club appears to be just around the corner.
Devine’s results in Triple-A have been exceptional this season. He has thrown 11.1 innings of zero-earned run baseball while fanning 16 hitters and walking none. In addition to the sparkling results, reports are that he’s able to hit 95 MPH on the radar gun, and there are no complaints of soreness in his surgically repaired elbow. Devine isn’t the only key member of the Athletics bullpen working his way back from injury, as their end game stopper Andrew Bailey is rehabbing a forearm strain as well. While it’s unlikely Devine would unseat a healthy Bailey as closer for the Athletics, should the forearm injury linger and cost Bailey more time, he could find himself in the saves mix with Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Michael Wuertz. Even if Devine records zero saves this year, he has a shot to be valuable helping lower ratios while compiling more than a strikeout-per-inning pitched. Those in holds leagues should keep an even closer eye on the situation, as his fastball/slider combination will look nice bridging the gap to the ninth inning.
Josh is a recent college graduate from SUNY Cortland where he majored in Sport Management. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe Forums where he posts as B-Chad.
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