A's option struggling Luzardo down to Triple-A Las Vegas

Jesus Luzardo

This isn't how the season was supposed to be going for Athletics left-hander Jesús Luzardo. 

The 23-year-old was expected to be one of the top pitchers for a contending A's team. Only half of that equation has been true so far. The A's enter Monday tied with the Houston Astros atop the AL West standings, but Luzardo has struggled mightly

So much so that the A's are sending Luzardo down to Triple-A Las Vegas, while calling up right-hander Domingo Acevedo. 

Luzardo, 23, is 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA in 13 appearances -- six starts -- this season. Opponents are batting .297 against him with a .915 OPS. 

The young lefty started the season in the A's rotation but had a 5.79 ERA through May 1. His frustrations then turned into a broken pinkie from banging his hand while playing a video game. The A's sent him to the bullpen upon his return, but the change didn't help. 

Since returning from the IL, Luzardo has allowed 11 earned runs in only 10 innings. His big issue has been the long ball. He has allowed six home runs as a reliever, and 11 on the year. 

Luzardo was long seen as the A's top prospect and a future ace. He burst onto the scene in 2019, allowing just two earned runs in 12 innings down the stretch out of the bullpen. But last year was more good than great, finishing with a 4.12 ERA in 12 appearances, nine of which were starts. 

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The A's know how great Luzardo can be. He has wipeout stuff with a fastball that reaches the upper-90s. Right now, however, he needs time in Triple-A to fix his issues. 

Acevedo, 27, has appeared in 15 games out of the bullpen for the Las Vegas Aviators. He has a 2.76 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. He'll be making his MLB debut if called upon by manager Bob Melvin.