Kotsay gives the big league word to three non-roster relievers

April 4th, 2022

On a day when Oakland A’s manager Mark Kotsay had to say goodbye to starting pitcher Sean Manaea, he also experienced three much-needed “great conversations,” he put it.

Kotsay on Sunday told right-handed relievers Zach Jackson, Dany Jiménez and Jacob Lemoine, all non-roster invitees, that they had made the team. Their roles are fluid.

The 27-year-old Jackson has a 1.80 ERA in five Cactus League appearances this spring and is in the big leagues after bouncing around the Minors since 2016.

“This kid has been a grinder in the Minor Leagues,” Kotsay said. “Really proud of him. He represents everything we talk about -- the grit, the perseverance, the commitment to a long-term goal. And it came true today.”

Zach Jackson

Jiménez, 28, was a Rule 5 Draft pick by Oakland in 2020 but was returned to the Blue Jays’ organization in March 2021. He signed with the A’s last November and hasn’t allowed a run in five games this spring.

“He earned a role in the back end,” Kotsay said.

Lemoine, 28, won his spot by pitching six scoreless innings in Cactus League games. He had a 2.86 ERA in 45 appearances for the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate last season and at one point thought he was getting called up.

“They told him he was on his way to the big leagues, but before he booked his flight circumstances changed and then he’s not on the way,” Kotsay said. “So he asked me, ‘Are you serious?’ It was a good moment.”