Sept. 20: The A’s have formally announced Estes’ promotion to the big leagues. Righty Devin Sweet was optioned to Triple-A in order to open a spot on the active roster, while lefty Sean Newcomb has been transferred to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Newcomb was placed on the 15-day IL earlier this week with a left knee strain, and that injury will formally end his season.
Sept. 18: The A’s are poised to select the contract of right-hander Joey Estes, according to Martin Gallegos of MLB.com. The club will need to clear space on both the 40-man and active rosters in order to make room for Estes.
Estes, 21, was a piece of the package that Oakland acquired from the Braves in exchange for first baseman Matt Olson alongside Cristian Pache, Shea Langeliers, and Ryan Cusick. Estes ranks as the club’s #13 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and #21 over at Fangraphs. Though prospect evaluators seem to generally agree that he’ll have a chance to stick in the rotation, a lack of clearly above-average secondary pitches is expected to hold Estes back from becoming more than a back-end rotation option, though his fastball does have impressive movement.
Estes was impressive in 104 1/3 innings of work at the Double-A level this year, posting a 3.28 ERA in 20 appearances (17 starts) with a 23.3% strikeout rate against a 7.2% walk rate. Those results have fallen off since his promotion to Triple-A as Estes has posted a less inspiring 5.23 ERA with a 21.5% strikeout rate in his first 32 2/3 innings at the level, though it’s worth noting that inflated offensive environment of the Pacific Coast League.
Now, Estes figures to get a taste of big league action before the 2023 season comes to a close, setting him up as a potential rotation option for the A’s headed into Spring Training next year. Estes follows right-hand Joe Boyle in being called up for a late-season cup of coffee, as Boyle tossed three scoreless innings on four strikeouts, one hit, and two walks in his big league debut after being selected to the roster himself yesterday.