Fujinami appeared in 34 games for the Athletics, with seven of those coming as starting assignments. He compiled an 8.57 ERA (48 ERA+) and a 1.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio, though he has performed better as of late. Indeed, he's surrendered two runs on four hits and no walks over eight July innings. Fujinami has also struck out 10 of the 27 batters he's faced in that stretch.
The Orioles are ostensibly hoping that Fujinami has unlocked something as of late, something that they can help him maintain heading forward. Perhaps that something entails making a change with his pitch usage breakdown. While he's relied heavily on his upper-90s fastball, his top pitches from a statistical perspective have been his signature splitter and his upper-80s cutter.
Fujinami, 29, joined the Athletics on a one-year deal worth $3.25 million over the offseason. He had previously spent his career with the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, where he amassed a 3.17 ERA in 252 appearances. Prior to turning professional, Fujinami had served as a high-school rival to Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.
The Orioles, who moved into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East on Wednesday afternoon, will now begin a pivotal four-game set against those same Rays on Thursday.
Lucas, 26, has made 20 minor-league appearances this season, all in relief and at either the Double- or Triple-A level. Lucas has accumulated a 2.73 ERA and a 3.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the course of 29 innings. He throws a pair of low-to-mid-90s fastballs, a slider, and a seldom-used changeup.