Athletics

Athletics

A's fans had been patiently waiting for this day, and Jesus Luzardo's first career MLB start didn't disappoint.

After making two relief appearances, the A's top pitching prospect started against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night, and he provided glimpses of why the organization is so high on him.

In a 15-pitch first inning, Luzardo showed off his full arsenal, striking out Rangers second baseman Nick Solak with a nasty 88 mph changeup.

Against the very next hitter, the powerful Joey Gallo, Luzardo sent him back to the dugout with a 97 mph fastball on the hands. Gallo had no chance of hitting this pitch.

In the top of the second inning, Luzardo made veteran Todd Frazier flail at another 88 mph changeup. Frazier is going to have nightmares about that pitch.

And in case you weren't aware, the 22-year-old lefty is an athlete who can field his position.

There might be a few Gold Gloves in his future, in addition to several Cy Young awards.

In the fifth inning, Luzardo added two more strikeouts, getting Scott Heineman looking at an 82 mph slider and getting Adolis Garcia to swing through a 95 mph sinker.

[RELATED: A's call up prospect James Kaprielian]

Luzardo was expected to open the 2020 MLB season in the starting rotation, but his arrival in A's Summer Camp was delayed by a positive coronavirus test.

Those two relief appearances were enough to stretch Luzardo out, and he's in the A's rotation to stay.

 

In all, Luzardo threw 76 pitches over five shutout innings. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out five.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]