Mengden is a candidate to start Wednesday against the Cardinals, a game that would have represented Frankie Montas' (suspension) next turn in the rotation, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. Mengden is a natural candidate for the role, given his extensive starting experience. The 26-year-old right-hander has already logged three starts with the Athletics this season, posting a 5.09 ERA and 1.65 WHIP across 23 innings overall. It's been a smoother road in Triple-A Las Vegas, where Mengden has generated a 3.47 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 4-2 record over 49.1 innings across eight appearances (seven starts).
Mengden was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. Mengden was sent back to the minors after struggling in a bulk-relief role Wednesday against the Angels, allowing six runs on six hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. The A's have yet to announce who will take his place in the rotation. Ryan Dull was summoned from the minors in a corresponding move.
Mengden didn't factor into the decision in Wednesday's 10-9 loss to the Angels after giving up six runs on six hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. He didn't strike out a batter in the 65-pitch outing. For the second time this season, Mengden worked as a bulk reliever rather than a traditional starter, but the arrangement didn't pay off for the Athletics. The six runs allowed represented a season high for Mengden, who had carried a 3.05 ERA into the contest. On a more positive note, Mengden at least scaled back the free passes after walking 15.1 percent of the batters he faced in his prior four outings. Mengden tentatively lines up to make his next turn as a starter/bulk reliever Monday in Tampa Bay, if Oakland opts not to drop him from the rotation.
Mengden will be deployed as a bulk reliever Wednesday against the Angels. Mengden will work behind an opener (Joakim Soria) for a second straight appearance. The veteran allowed just one run on four hits and three walks while striking out six in 4.1 innings as a bulk reliever his last time out. Overall, Mengden owns a 3.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 19:14 K:BB in 20.2 innings this season.
Manager Bob Melvin suggested that Mengden, who is listed as Oakland's starter for Wednesday's game against the Angels, could be deployed behind an opener, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Liam Hendriks previously opened ahead of Mengden for the latter's last turn through the rotation, and the arrangement yielded favorable results. While covering 4.1 innings in relief against this same Angels squad on May 29, Mengden surrendered only one run on four hits and three walks while striking out six. Melvin said Hendriks wouldn't open Wednesday's game after being needed in relief in Tuesday's 4-2 win, leaving fellow right-handers Joakim Soria or Aaron Brooks as the most logical options to work as openers if the Athletics choose to go that route. Regardless of how he's deployed, Mengden will be in line to fill the bulk of the innings and is thus the most likely pitcher to factor into any decision.