Pleasanton native Stephen Piscotty was released by the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday in a personnel move seen as the last-place A's clearing more roster space for prospects to gain major-league experience at the end of an otherwise lost season.
Piscotty had 55 home runs and 191 RBI in nearly five seasons with the A's, but much of the outfielder's time in Oakland after a strong 2018 season was marked by injuries, especially the past two years, contributing to his down 2022 campaign batting .190 with five homers and 14 RBI in just 42 games.
The Amador Valley High alum's acquisition by the A's from the St. Louis Cardinals in late 2017 made national headlines as the trade came at Piscotty's request in the hopes of playing closer to Pleasanton where his mother was battling ALS. Gretchen Piscotty, a longtime local resident and secretary at Foothill High School, died on May 6, 2018 at age 55.
Her passing inspired Stephen Piscotty, his father and brothers to found the ALS Cure Project. On the ballfield, Piscotty hit a memorable home run during his first game back from bereavement leave following his mother's death.
"There's just a lot of adversity he's had to deal with, and hopefully he gets another opportunity to play the game he loves," first-year A's manager Mark Kotsay said in reflection of Piscotty's tenure with the team, speaking with reporters before Tuesday's game – video of which was posted on social media by NBC Sports California.
Attempts to reach Piscotty for comment on Tuesday were unsuccessful. The 31-year-old is now a free agent.
Piscotty's release follows a post-trade-deadline pattern of the A's letting older players go, or significantly reducing their playing time, in favor of giving experience to younger players. Oakland has the worst record in the American League and second-worst in all of baseball at 42-75 after Tuesday's win in Texas against the Rangers that ended the A's nine-game losing skid.