A’s surprisingly option Ruiz to Triple-A to make room for Nevin

A’s surprisingly option Ruiz to Triple-A to make room for Nevin originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Just four games into the 2024 MLB season, the Athletics optioned outfielder Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday.

The move cleared a roster spot for infielder Tyler Nevin, who was claimed off waivers Sunday from the Baltimore Orioles.

Ruiz went 3-for-7 (.429) with two runs, one double, one triple, one RBI and one stolen base in the A’s season-opening series against the Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Coliseum. He hit .236 with nine RBI in 20 games this spring.

The speedy 25-year-old stole 67 bases during Oakland‘s 2023 MLB season, surpassing the American League rookie record previously set by Kenny Lofton.

Ruiz was part of the A’s trade that sent Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves, and he was looking forward to building off an electric rookie season, receiving base-stealing advice from Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.

Meanwhile, Nevin hit .333 with two home runs, seven RBI and a .841 OPS in 23 games this spring with the Orioles before he was designated for assignment Thursday. He is a .203 career hitter with five home runs and 29 RBI in 105 career games with Baltimore (2021-22) and the Detroit Tigers (2023).

The 26-year-old right-handed hitter has appeared in 58 games at third base, 18 at first base, 13 in left field and two in right field during his big-league career.