In the early 2000’s, the Oakland A’s had a rotation that featured the “Big Three”, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. Those three starters were responsible in making Oakland a perennial playoff contender for the early part of that decade. But once the “Big Three” was completely dismantled by A’s GM, Billy Beane, Oakland experienced a playoff mini-drought.
The A’s last trip to the playoffs was in 2006, where Barry Zito led a trio-less staff. The A’s swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS and advanced to the ALCS only to get swept by the Detroit Tigers. Since Zito left for San Francisco, the A’s have been trying to reassemble a new “Big Three.”
The Oakland A’s in 2009 featured a group of young rookies in their starting rotation. The idea was to get their feet wet and give them a chance to prove themselves worthy of a starting role. Among those in the staff was rookie Trevor Cahill. He and fellow rookie, Brett Anderson were dubbed as future stars for Oakland.
In his first season in the big leagues, Trevor Cahill finished 10-13, with a 4.63 ERA in 178.2 innings (32 starts). Unlike his teammate, ROY Candidate Brett Anderson, Cahill didn’t make dramatic strides towards excellence. Although, as the season progressed Cahill managed to keep the ball down in the strike zone. Which is extremely important for him to do moving forward, because if he fails to keep his stuff down he’ll get rocked by opposing hitters (he allowed 27 long-balls in 2009).
But to his credit, Cahill is armed with a nasty sinker, that can potentially make him a front-line starter. If he can work on his command, Cahill should have a good season in 2010. And if he can continue to improve as a player, Oakland’s efforts to recreate another “Big Three” could be rewarded.