With only 34 days till the pitchers and catchers have to report for spring training, it’s time to start thinking about the Oakland A’s starting rotation for the 2014. Now that Bartolo Colon and Brett Anderson out of the picture, who will be filling their shoes come April?
1. Sonny Gray
Gray did such an amazing job during the second half of the 2013 season that I am sure he will be rewarded by being put first in the rotation, especially with Colon gone. Gray has also proven that he can handle the pressure of tough situations and important games when he pitched in the postseason in 2013. Gray has a pitbull-like mentality and he is rarely shaken by big name batters. With a 2.37 ERA in the regular season and a 2.08 ERA in the post-season, Gray is ready to be the A’s ace.
2. Jarrod Parker
Parker will again be the the A’s number two just like he was in 2013 behind Brett Anderson. Even though he has more experience than Gray, he does not have the spark or fearlessness that Gray does. With a 3.97 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 2013, Parker’s pitching is consistent and precise, and he will thrive once again in the number two spot.
3. Scott Kazmir
Even though Kazmir is a veteran pitcher compared to the rest of the A’s bullpen with 8 years of experience in the MLB, he has not seen any success in the late 2000s. Even though he was able to help out the Cleveland Indians in 2013 and ended the season with a winning 10-9 record, Kazmir’s inconsistency places him in the third spot in the rotation. If he is able to prove to the Oakland A’s that he has what he it takes to be an ace, the Athletics might move him up into the first or second spot in the rotation in the 2015 season. But for now, he will have to reside at number three in the rotation.
4. A.J. Griffin
Griffin pitched the most innings out of all the A’s pitchers in 2013 with 200 innings and has proven that he is a hard worker. With a 3.83 ERA and 14-10 record, he had the 6th best WHIP in the AL with a 1.13 WHIP. However, Griffin does tend to be easily read by batters and gives up a lot of homeruns. He will need to work on catching the batters off guard during this upcoming season if he wants to be successful.
5. Dan Straily
Straily lands in the fifth spot since he tends to walk a lot of batters. However, he did earn a 3.96 ERA and the Athletics felt comfortable enough with his talent to have him pitch in the postseason in 2013. Like most of the A’s bullpen, Straily is young at only 25 years old, which gives him time to work on pitching in the strike zone. Hopefully Straily can learn from his experience in 2013 and work on his pitching during the off season.
There is always a chance of someone acquiring an injury or someone just not succeeding in 2014, which could ultimately switch up the rotation. However, if all of these players pitch consistently, this is the most probable rotation for the Athletics. With this rotation, the Oakland A’s will surely find success with their bullpen.