Bartolo Colon

What do the A's do with their abundance of pitching?

The young starting staff for the A’s dazzled against the New York Yankees in the four-game series, accounting for three wins.

But now Billy Beane, Bob Melvin and Curt Young have some tough decisions to make.

It looks like the A’s may have even more pitching soon, and the A’s will have to figure out some way to work all of the arms into the staff.

Here’s a breakdown of the current A’s starting rotation (all stats from baseballreference.com Sunday night):

Tommy Milone: 25 years old, 9-6, 3.34 ERA, 121.1 IP

Bartolo Colon: 39 years old, 6-8, 3.88 ERA, 111.1 IP

Jarrod Parker: 23 years old, 7-4, 3.00 ERA, 99.0 IP

Travis Blackley: 29 yeards old, 2-2, 2.86 ERA, 56.2 IP

A.J. Griffin: 24 years old, 2-0, 2.70 ERA, 30.0 IP

And here’s the current bullpen:

Ryan Cook: 25 years old, 4-2, 1.70 ERA, 42.1 IP, 10 SV

Jerry Blevins: 28 years old, 2-0, 2.58 ERA, 38.1 IP

Grant Balfour: 34 years old, 2-2, 3.00 ERA, 45.0 IP, 7 SV

Jordan Norberto: 25 years old, 2-1, 3.34 ERA, 35 IP

Jim Miller: 30 years old, 2-1, 2.05 ERA, 26.1 IP

Sean Doolittle: 25 years old, 1-0, 1.86 ERA, 19.1 IP

Evan Scribner: 26 years old, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 9.0 IP

And here’s who is coming back:

Brandon McCarthy: 28 years old, 6-3, 2.54 ERA, 78.0 IP

Brett Anderson (stats from 2011, prior to injury): 24 years old, 3-6, 4.00 ERA, 83.1 IP

Dallas Braden (stats from 2010, only pitched 18 innings in 2011): 28 years old, 11-14, 3.50 ERA, 192.2 IP

Anderson is going in the minors right now, and McCarthy looks like he’ll be back soon after not pitching since June 19. Braden is still a ways away, but the A’s have to be keeping him in the back of their minds.

Oakland has a few options:

1) Go with a six man rotation, and send down a bullpen guy

In this scenario, the A’s would lose a bullpen arm, but starters would (presumably) be able to go longer with an extra day of rest. On the other hand, Oakland would have to wait a day for its better starters to go.

2) Trade an arm for a bat

It’s not like the A’s to make a deal at the deadline that helps themselves in the short run, but that is a possibility right now with the A’s in the hunt for the playoffs. If the A’s were to trade a young arm along with some prospects for a hitter, it’s unlikely they’d be able to get Justin Upton, Shane Victorino or another star, but they may be able to find some help at shortstop with Pennington going to the DL.

3) Use some starters out of the bullpen

Ryan Cook is a former starter, and he’s worked out well in the bullpen. Brett Anderson is being limited to 45 pitches in his minor league starts right now, so maybe the A’s could continue being cautious with Anderson and use him out of the bullpen because the A’s aren’t desperate for him to come back and start with such a strong current staff.

Whatever the A’s decide to do, it’s certainly a luxurious problem they are faced with. They have options, so flexibility is their friend in this case.

6 Comments

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6 Comments on "What do the A's do with their abundance of pitching?"

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topraman
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topraman

Who knew the kids could play this good

Dan The Pundit
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I agree they have a myriad of options, but as you pointed out these kids are rookies and have never thrown this many innings. Not a bad idea to push down a couple of the rookie starters and replace them with the vets coming off the DL.

Bay Area Duck Guy
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Bay Area Duck Guy

That’s a really good point. Some of these guys have never pitched this much, so maybe a six man rotation would be the best choice to give more rest and not force as many innings on the young arms.

Stan
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Stan

I know one thing..if Beanes breaks up this group now?..the fans will break out the pitchforks. Even Beane understands the boiling heat he will get if he makes a move that hurts the team this year with the excuse of “for the future”.

John Sports
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Package some arms and get a Shortstop that can at-least Bat his weight…Pennington is never going to cut it. Sogard makes a nice utility guy, but in no way he should be playing every Day.

TommyJ
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TommyJ

Couldn’t agree more with a SS upgrade; Billy shouldn’t take an important piece this year to make a move, but a minor upgrade (AA arm for an Orlando Cabrera type, but without the disasaterous result The Giants had last year). You’re playing with house money this year with a league that only has three teams out of it. I have an expectation BB will try to make some magic happen with AZ Diamondbacks, a frequent trade partner, in the off-season. I think Melvin can work with JUpton, Drew or both.

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