If nothing else, Dan Otero has in his possession an impressive piece of jewelry that is sure to raise an eyebrow or two around the greater Sacramento area. Namely, a shiny World Series ring courtesy of his 12 appearances last season with the San Francisco Giants. Although A’s fans may cringe at the very mention of “World Champion” and “San Francisco Giants” in the same sentence together; they can take a small amount of solace that both Otero and Travis Blackley, were rewarded for their minor contributions in a championship season.
Now firmly entrenched in the Athletics organization, Otero has flourished as the closer for Sacramento River Cats and has placed himself in a fine position for an eventual call-up despite not being a member of the 40-man roster. Claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees at the tail end of Spring Training, his addition to the organization brought little in the way of fanfare or media notoriety. Turning a blind eye, he was dismissed as little more than organizational depth and was outrighted off the 40-man roster shortly thereafter to accommodate the arrival of Stephen Vogt.
Since being unclaimed and remaining in the organization, Otero has set a new standard of excellence in relief for the River Cats. In keeping up with his historically strong walk and strikeout rates in the minors, he’s issued only 1 free pass all season while striking out 22 in 24 1/3 innings pitched so far. During that time he’s allowed just 12 hits, leaving him with a nifty 0.49 WHIP, to accompany a sterling 1.76 FIP and a perfect 14 for 14 in save opportunities. Equipped with a fastball/slider arsenal, Otero has found success by keeping the ball in the ballpark allowing only 12 home runs total in over 300 innings pitched in professional baseball.
As an interesting side note, the right-hander is the proud owner of a Degree in History with a concentration in Caribbean Studies from South Florida University. While his knowledge regarding Trinidad and Tobago may pay him little dividends in the big leagues, his sense of history will remind him of the constant of change. With so much of the season remaining, the Athletics bullpen may soon yield an opening for Dan Otero. It the meantime, he can be found in Sacramento waiting patiently for a chance to claim his place in baseball history.