As our very own Jason Burke detailed late Tuesday night, the Athletics have promoted rookie right-hander Arnold Leon to the Major League roster in anticipation of Wednesday’s double-header against the Seattle. While the answer of whether or not, the Sacramento River Cat will be making his big league debut as the starter of Game 2 has yet to be revealed, the safe bet remains that Leon will take the mound in Oakland at some point during the day.
In his seventh season in Oakland organization, Leon is in the midst of his second year as a full-fledged starting pitcher in the highest rungs of the minor leagues. At 25 years of age, the Mexican League import was sidetracked by the dreaded Tommy John surgery in 2010 which wiped out the majority of his 2011 season, before repositioning himself on Oakland ‘s radar as a reliever in 2012. Converted back to a starter pitcher last season, Leon started 25 games between Midland and Sacramento posting a combined 4.12 ERA, 3.23 FIP, and 6.1 K/9 with 1.5 BB/9 in a career high 144 innings pitched. Showcasing an uptick in velocity after nearly three years removed from surgery, Leon features a mid-90’s fastball, deceptive change-up, curveball, slider, and cutter in his pitch repertoire.
Leapfrogging the likes of Josh Lindblom and Marcus Walden for what likely will be a one-and-done appearance in Oakland, he’ll have an opportunity to make his presence felt at the big league level. A native of Culiacan, Mexico, Leon received notary for setting off an earth-shaking brawl between the Team Mexico and Team Canada during last years World Baseball Classic.
The hope remains that his next high profile appearance contains a less volatile result.