Neal cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Nashville on Friday, Christian Boutwell of MLB.com reports.
The 28-year-old right-hander was designated for assignment on Wednesday to make room for southpaw Sam Moll, who'd been acquired from the Rockies on that same day. Neal has endured a rocky 2017 in stints with both the Sounds and the big-league club, and he's appears destined to finish out the balance of the campaign in Nashville.
Neal will be dropped from the 40-man roster to make room for lefty reliever Sam Moll, who was acquired from the Rockies earlier in the day. The 28-year-old turned in a 4.99 ERA and 4.3 K/9 rate over 17 appearances (12 starts) at Triple-A Nashville this season. Neal's lack of strikeout stuff and middling numbers in both the upper minors and big leagues the past three years will likely result in him passing through waivers unclaimed.
Neal was sent down to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday.
Neal's 7.98 ERA comes largely from a pair of terrible long relief outings in late June when the Nationals and Rays combined to score 12 runs off him in just 7.2 innings. Neal had been sharp in three relief outings since (four innings, one earned run), but opportunities had been few and far between, so he'll return to Nashville for more consistent work.
Neal fired a scoreless eighth inning in a 7-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday.
Recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 2, Neal saw action for the first time at the big-league level since June 14. The 28-year-old right-hander was roughed up by the Nationals and Rays for 12 earned runs over 7.2 innings in two appearances during his previous stint, but he'd closed out that tenure with a pair of strong outings against the Marlins. Friday's effort represented his third scoreless appearance with the Athletics this season, and he's now lowered his ERA from 10.13 to a still-bloated but improving 7.98 over his last three trips to the mound.
Neal was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Sunday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Neal will assume the 25-man spot of starter Jesse Hahn, who was optioned back to Nashville to open up a rotation spot for Paul Blackburn. It's expected that Neal, who was touched up for 13 runs in 13.2 innings in five appearances with the Athletics earlier this season, will have to settle for low-leverage, long-relief work during his time with the big club.
|8/28/2017 vs Los Angeles|
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2014||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||7||7||4.07||20||19||0||0||0||119.1||137||70||54||15||4||16||80|