JP Sears

Sears tests new pitch in strong spring training debut with A's

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JP Sears debuted a new pitch for the Athletics on Tuesday in an impressive spring training debut. 

The 28-year-old tested out his sinker, and to Oakland’s favor, it worked well. 

Sears threw the pitch three times, resulting in a flyout and strikeout. 

“I’ve been feeling pretty confident with it. It’s a new pitch for me,” Sears said (h/t’s Steve Stockmar). “I’ve never thrown a sinker. I’m just trying to get educated on it from the other guys that throw it and the catchers and results from the hitters on my team whenever I face them live.”

The lefty threw 13 strikes on 19 total pitches en route to two perfect innings against Cleveland. He didn’t mind the limited usage, considering his immaculate scorecard.

“When you have good outings, take ’em when you get ’em,” Sears said. “I’ll look to use [my pitches] more next time and just continue to try and keep getting it better. I’m not really missing out on much having a quick one.”

Sears was a part of the A’s rotation for the entirety of the 2023 MLB season, making life a little bit easier for manager Mark Kotsay, who appointed a league-leading 24 different starting pitchers. Sears finished 5-14 after holding a 4.54 ERA and tossing 172.1 innings.

“He’s pretty hard on himself,” Kotsay explained. “He’s a kid that when he’s out there and maybe makes a good pitch or makes a bad pitch, you can kind of see the reaction in terms of he wants to be perfect,” Kotsay said (h/t Stockmar).  “And that’s great, that’s a great attribute, but at the same point, I think he’s got to give himself a little bit of a less hard time in his mindset.”

Sears is a reliable option for Kotsay and offers promise during the most uncertain times in Oakland

Last season, Sears started all 32 games he appeared in -- 10 more than the A’s next closest pitcher, Ken Waldichuk (22).

“He’s really worked on a good changeup and making that more part of his game,” Kotsay said. “The durability aspect -- he made 32 starts last year so I think that’s important to watch how he gets out of the gate.”

Sears likely will continue to factor in his developing pitches, and Kotsay extends the necessary leash for him to do so.

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