Athletics manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Mengden has the inside track for the No. 3 spot in the rotation entering spring training based on the way the right-hander finished the 2017 campaign, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.

Due to both health issues and uninspiring numbers at Triple-A Nashville, Mengden only made two starts for the Athletics in the first five months of the season before getting a trial in the rotation in September. The 24-year-old impressed down the stretch with a 3-1 record and 1.54 ERA over his last five starts, but his meager 7.8 K/9 rate and occasional issues with the long ball over his 115 career innings in the big leagues inhibit his fantasy upside. So long as Mengden exhibits the excellent control he showed with the Athletics in 2017 during spring training though, he should break camp as a member of the rotation.

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