In those games -- one against the Tigers and two against the Yankees -- the righty allowed four runs on three hits over a combined two innings of work while walking four batters.
"Joey was struggling with his command, and his role, being the seventh-inning guy, it's a difficult one to struggle with your command in," A's manager Bob Melvin said, admitting that Devine's last three outings played a role in the decision. "We figured it was best to work on these things in the Minor Leagues and get his command back there. This is a guy who's very important to us and we need, and has been very good for us in that role, so he'll work on that there."
In two prior spells with the A's this season, Magnuson made three appearances out of the bullpen that totaled 6 1/3 innings and resulted in an 8.53 ERA.
Only one of those outings was with Melvin at the helm. The righty tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Marlins on June 30, and Melvin was impressed with what he saw out of the rookie.
"It was hard to send him down," Melvin said. "A guy goes out there and gives you 3 1/3, and you have to send him back down. First impression, for me, was great. The velocity was more than I anticipated -- saw some [94-mph pitches] and I think a 95. He was ahead in the count, mixed his pitches, and he's a tall guy with a downhill plane."
Melvin anticipates a similar role for Magnuson out of the bullpen this time around, as he is the one reliever on the Oakland roster who can eat up innings, if necessary. Magnuson's long-relief potential, combined with the move to send Devine back to the Minors, means Melvin will move rookie right-hander Fautino De Los Santos into the seventh-inning role.
In 10 appearances (12 1/3 innings), De Los Santos has given up just four earned runs while striking out 18, and he entered Wednesday having held opponents to a .125 batting average.
"He's pitched well for us and has plus stuff, and you can see his confidence growing," Melvin said. "The fact that Devine is not here, there's a chance that he can pitch a little deeper into games and have a more prominent role."