A's fans, Daniel Mengden and his glorious mustache have arrived
The A's are an organization steeped in history when it comes to glorious mustaches. After all, Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers sported one of the most memorable 'staches to ever take the mound.
On Saturday, a new chapter of mustachioed Oakland hurlers begins when rookie Daniel Mengden makes his big league debut against the Reds at Great American Ball Park in place of lefty Rich Hill, on the D.L. with a groin issue.
The 23-year-old Mengden was acquired by the A's last July in the trade that sent Scott Kazmir to the Astros, and all he's done since then is impress. Mengden made quick work of the lower levels of the Minors, blazing through his time with Single-A Stockton and beginning the 2016 campaign at Double-A.
With the Midland RockHounds, Mengden and his repertoire of a mid-to-high-90s fastball and some pretty slick off-speed pitches went 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA in four starts before advancing to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. There, he was 3-1 with a 1.39 ERA in 7 starts, limiting hitters to just a .175 batting average before getting the call to the Majors.
It's within that context, as the A's No. 14 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, that Mengden brings himself -- and that wondrous facial hair situation -- to the A's. Should he impress in his debut and stick around or at least be firmly in Oakland's plans for the rest of the season, it's irrefutably a good thing thanks to that mustache.
Baseball players love their facial hair, that much is certain, but for the most part it's relegated to just beards and shaggy hair. While there are a few standouts (Mengden's new teammate John Axford sported a mean one back with the Brewers, for example) but there simply aren't enough handlebar mustaches these days.
Here's hoping Mengden's arrival is the first of many new 'staches to infiltrate the league.