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Morning Mound Visit: Jo Adell debuts, Jesús Luzardo makes first start

It was a big day rookies in the AL West.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Oakland Athletics Photo by Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Before games were played on Tuesday, 70 players had made their major league debut this season according to Baseball Reference. With the exception of perhaps Nick Madrigal, Nate Pearson, and Luis Robert, none was as anticipated as Jo Adell’s debut last night against the Seattle Mariners.

Ranked 6th overall by MLB Pipeline, Adell slashed .289/.359/.475 across 340 plate appearances spread across three levels of the minors. Adell struggled in Triple-A, striking out 32.6 percent of the time in 27 games.

Adell figures to get ample playing time even after Shohei Ohtani returns to the designated hitter role while dealing with a flexor pronator strain. Ohtani won’t pitch again this season, but is day-to-day as a hitter. Joe Maddon’s plan is to platoon Justin Upton and Brian Goodwin.

Adell went 1-for-4 with a strikeout, and his hit wasn’t exactly smoked.

Adell’s debut may not have been explosive, but one game is hardly telling.

Jesús Luzardo, the A’s top prospect, made his major league debut last September throwing 12 stellar innings in relief and making an appearance in the Wild Card game against the Rays. Luzardo made his first start last night and only the immovable object of Lance Lynn could spoil it.

Luzardo threw five shutout innings, struck out five, while walking two and giving up just two hits. He got 10 swings and misses on 76 pitches. Most of those came on the sinker and changeup. He ended the night at 32 percent CSW even without pinpoint four-seam command.

Baseball Savant

Luzardo maxed out at 98.5 mph and averaged 95.6 mph with the sinker. He got swings and misses with the pitch on all sides of the plate including at the top of the zone against Joey Gallo.

And his changeup was pretty good, too.

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