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.
Mengden (3-2) tossed seven scoreless innings to earn the win Sunday against the Rangers, allowing four hits with one walk and striking out eight.
Mengden was terrific in this one, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Adrian Beltre ended it with a single. He got into a bit of trouble in the seventh but was able to induce an inning-ending double-play ball to conclude his afternoon. Mengden threw 66 percent of his pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to a sharp 3.14 with this outing. The 24-year-old finished the season in terrific form after rejoining the big-league rotation, rattling off four quality starts in his last five with a 1.54 ERA and a 26:6 K:BB ratio during that span. He should have every opportunity to begin the 2018 campaign in the majors after this display.
Mengden (2-2) took the loss against the Mariners on Tuesday, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks over six-plus innings while striking out three.
He extended his scoreless streak to 19 innings before the M's hung two runs on him in the fourth, and then Mengden allowed the first two batters he saw in the seventh to reach base before getting the hook, only to watch as Ryan Dull immediately served up a three-run homer to Danny Valencia. Mengden is slated to start Oakland's regular-season finale Sunday on the road against the Rangers.
Mengden (2-1) earned the win over the Tigers on Wednesday, allowing seven hits while striking out four over seven scoreless innings. He did not issue a walk.
On the heels of a complete-game two-hitter against Philadelphia, Mengden blanked the Tigers over seven for his third straight quality start. The peripherals suggest he's overachieved to a significant extent during his time with Oakland, but for those owners simply chasing wins and strikeouts, Mengden will make for an appealing play during the final week of the season with two starts on tap (vs SEA, at TEX).
Mengden (1-1) fired a complete-game, two-hit shutout while striking out six to earn the victory Friday against the Phillies.
Mengden had a two-run lead in the first inning, and never gave the Phillies a realistic chance to score while allowing just two runners to reach base in his complete-game victory. He's fired quality starts in each of his outings since joining the rotation on September 9, and he's definitely worth considering if fantasy owners need some pitching help at the season draws to a close. He'll make his next start Wednesday against the Tigers.
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