The Oakland A's selected right-handed pitcher Neil Wagner from Triple-A Sacramento, the club announced today. To clear a spot for Wagner on the 40-man roster, the A's outrighted right-handed pitcher Bruce Billings to Sacramento. In addition, left-handed pitcher Jerry Blevins cleared waivers and was optioned to Sacramento.
Wagner began the year at Double-A Midland and went 1-3 with four saves a 3.38 ERA in 28 relief appearances before he was promoted to Sacramento June 25. He was 2-1 with two saves and a 3.10 ERA in 22 appearances with the River Cats and combined for a 3.26 ERA and .232 opponents batting average in 50 outings overall. The 27-year old right-hander struck out 87 in 66.1 innings, an average of 11.80 per nine innings. Wagner was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 21st round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft and was traded to the A's for cash considerations, May 14, 2010. He is 15-23 with 44 saves and a 3.47 ERA in 266 career appearances over six seasons in the minors. The native of Eden Prairie, Minn. has struck out 425 batters in 362.2 innings and has surrendered just 14 home runs.
Billings was acquired from Colorado June 30 in the Mark Ellis trade and was recalled by the A's August 13. He did not allow an earned run in his first two outings but then allowed seven runs on six hits and four walks in 1.1 innings last Wednesday at New York. Billings had a 12.60 ERA in three appearances when he was optioned to Sacramento last Thursday.