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A's call up Otero, option Okajima to Minors

A's call up Otero, option Okajima to Minors

A's call up Otero, option Okajima to Minors

OAKLAND -- After using seven pitchers in Thursday's 18-inning marathon victory over the Yankees, the A's needed a fresh arm on Friday.

So they called on right-hander Dan Otero, who was dominating Triple-A competition, and decided to option Hideki Okajima, who appeared in just five games over the last month.

That meant Jesse Chavez remained in Oakland, even though he won't be available for a few days, after throwing 71 pitches in 5 2/3 shutout innings of relief while earning the win on Thursday.

A's general manager Billy Beane noted that a few days without Chavez is better than 10, which would have been the case had he been optioned. Plus, he said, he deserved to stay in the Majors.

"It was important to let him know he's a big leaguer," said Beane of Chavez, who has allowed just one run in 15 1/3 innings since his May 10 callup, after struggling in every other stint with the A's after they acquired his services last August.

"You have patience with guys like that, and some guys you don't if the track record isn't there," Beane said. "It's good to see Jesse contribute the way he did. You could just tell yesterday, when he was out there, his demeanor, he had a Major League demeanor. A lot of confidence."

"He was amazing," manager Bob Melvin added. "His last three or four outings for us have been the real Jesse Chavez. From the time we brought him up last year, he had a tough time of it. But the people in our front office and our scouts have been saying all along, this guy can pitch at the big league level and do well. He just needs to get on a little bit of a roll and gain some confidence, and we have definitely seen that the last several outings."

Otero's numbers speak to exactly why he was the one to get the call on Friday. The 28-year-old righty was 1-0 with a 0.99 ERA and .147 opponents' average at Sacramento, where he was perfect in 15 save opportunities. He struck out 22 and walked just one in 27 1/3 innings.

"You look at the numbers he's put up in Triple-A," Melvin said, "and they've been phenomenal, so probably well-deserved."

Originally claimed off waivers by the A's from the Yankees on March 29, Otero is with his third team in two years, having also played in the Giants organization. It was there where he made his Major League debut last year, posting a 5.84 ERA in 12 relief appearances spanning three stints.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Otero, the A's transferred Brett Anderson to the 60-day disabled list.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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